Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

One Book, One College

Girls at Ayno Meena Number Two school in the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan, which was built in late 2008 with support from the World Bank.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide 

by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn


Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. The authors describe stories of women's struggles and triumphs in Africa and Asia to demonstrate that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. 

Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty. You can read more about the book from the publisher here.

Half the Sky explores social, economic, and political experiences of women across the globe. Issues discussed in Half the Sky include: 

  • Economic Empowerment

  • Access to Education

  • Forced Prostitution

  • Gender-Based Violence

  • Maternal Mortality

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Women's Health


Interested in reading Half the Sky? 

Check out a print copy of the book from the ELAC Library available at call # HQ1236.5 .D44 K75 2010. Ask a librarian for help finding the book.

Alternatively, you can download a copy of the eBook (below) to your preferred e-reader.

Campus Events

Fall 2017  
Flash Mob Reading
When: Thursday, Oct 12, 12:15pm-1:30pm
Where: E3 Quad
Half the Sky Documentary Faculty Screening with Q&A. 
When: Tuesday, Nov 28, 12:15pm-1:30pm
Where: E3-470
Half the Sky Documentary Student Screening with Q&A. 
When: Thursday, Nov 30, 12:15pm-1:30pm
Where: E3-470
Winter 2018  
Half the Sky Documentary Faculty Screening with Q&A. 
When: Thursday, Jan 11, 12:15pm-1:30pm​
Where: E3-470
Spring 2018  
Them Too! Supporting Female Empowerment Worldwide Panel Discussion. 
Refreshments will be served.
When: Thursday, March 22, 12:15pm-1:30pm
Where: F5-201
Half the Sky Documentary Student and Faculty Screening with Q&A. 
When: Tuesday, April 17, 12:15pm-1:30pm​
Where: F5-201
Student-led Book Discussion of Half the Sky. 
When: Thursday, May 10, 12:15pm-1:30pm​
Where: F5-201

Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources


Sheryl WuDunn's book "Half the Sky" investigates the oppression of women globally. Her argument is direct: only when women in developing countries have equal access to education and economic opportunity will we be using all our human resources.

Review Articles About the Book

Half the Sky Scholarly Reviews 

White, Deborah, and Janice Du Mont. “Review: A Call to Galvanize a Movement to End the Oppression of Women Worldwide.” Social Justice, vol. 38, no. 3 (125), 2012, pp. 145–147.

ShacharAyelet, et al. “Global Gender Inequality and the Empowerment of Women A Discussion of Half the Sky...” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 8, no. 1, 2010, pp. 279–286.

Hindin, Michelle J. “Studies in Family Planning.” Studies in Family Planning, vol. 40, no. 4, 2009, pp. 341–342.