The book argues that the oppression of women worldwide is “the paramount moral challenge” of the present era, much as the fight against slavery was in the half the sky free pdf. Half the Sky focuses on prostitution, rape, education, maternal mortality, genital mutilation, micro-credit, and solutions in developing countries. Prostitution is prevalent in developing countries. Kristof and his wife visit brothels to better understand this industry.
Many girls are abducted at an early age. They might be sold by their families because they cannot afford raising them or sold to pay off a family debt.
At the brothel they will be drugged so that they give into the industry and will work all day long. This often leads to STDs and HIV. Some programs will come into the brothel undercover to provide condoms but the sexual workers are not allowed to use them unless the customer allows it. Young girls are widely looked for by customers, they will pay extra to sleep with a virgin.
Some people believe that sleeping with a virgin will clean them of and STDs they may have and infect the worker. The prostitutes become to entangled in the industry that even when they are able to leave the brothel they tend to come back because they internalize that the brothel is where they belong. Some women are financially indebted to their pimps making their stay longer.
During their time they also experience physical and sexual violence. Most rapists are people the survivor knows, sometimes even family members.
The survivor’s story is usually hidden from the community and when it does arise, the survivor is usually not believed. The female will also bring “shame” to the family and this sometimes leads to her killing in order to preserve the family honor. A rape can also lead to the female having to marry her rapist. Due to the lack or prenatal care and few hospitals that exist in these countries many women, sometimes their babies as well, die.
Genital mutilation can also make giving birth very difficult. Women are usually expected to give birth at home which makes them even more propense to mortality.