In Half the Sky, oppression plays an important role in the society of women and girls worldwide. The book is about raising awareness for women worldwide and fighting against different problems and empowers women to fight against the cruel treatments they receive. Some of the issues in the world against women are forced prostitution, and sex trafficking. In this book it tells different stories of how women in poor countries have been treated cruelly, but stood up for themselves and made better opportunities.
The story I read was in Chapter 3, where education is one of the emphasized ways of helping women against hateful crimes towards them. So many women and girls are kidnapped, raped, and abused because they are threatened by death, therefore bearing and taking the abuse.
The story of Usha is about how she stood up to an evil man and how education played an important role in her defense. Usha lived in an area called the slums, and one man terrorized women in this area, his name was Akku Yadav who terrorized women by gang raping, cutting their breasts off, and other violent actions. He would threaten anyone who would stand up to him. One day, Usha happened to report him to the police. The police told Akku that she had reported him, allowing Akku and his gang to come to her house and threaten to throw acid in her face. Usha stood up to him with her education by boiling water and lighting a match where she told Akku that she would blow herself and him up if he does not leave. Usha’s courage showed the neighbors that they could stand up to Akku, allowing the neighbors to go after Akku. This action showed that knowledge and courage could help in violent situations especially those in the poor countries.
Education is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and empower women to stand up for themselves. It can help women stand up for events that they witness as well as promote economic growth and stability. Being able to have the knowledge of the outside world and critical thinking can lower the rate of women engaging in crime as well as human trafficking. It is said that if women are educated, the attackers are more likely to back down. I think that if women receive an education, then they can feel important in this world. Woman should not feel overpowered by men, just because they can be stronger than woman. For centuries, men have had this idea in their heads that they are better than women, but women are needed in this society. Women are the ones who can conceive and make more people in this world and can cook and clean. Some cultures do not allow woman to work, but without knowledge how will they know how to cook or clean. Having an education can provide woman with a way to make a better living for them. If one knows the right tactics in life, then one can succeed.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world (Gandhi).” Segregation and discrimination is a problem that is from the roots of time and most people who were good- hearted did not know what to do to change this problem. Now we must change for the problem of gender equality.
Half the Sky emphasizes that one day a new movement should begin for gender equality as well as pushing for education for woman and girls around the world. Gender equality is no different than past history issues such as race differences and slavery. The quote above is very simple, in order for the world to change as the way we want to world to be, we must change it. The changes in this world are not going to just happen, the people in this world must change it. Therefore, one way of decreasing sex trafficking and gang rape is by educating woman and girls in order for them to have a better way of life.