“Women hold up half the sky”
Due to time constraint, with work and house chores and a baby and trying to be the best at everything that I am – wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, lawyer (phew!), I rarely have time to read nowadays. But when I manage to find myself some time in between - while waiting for the Court/meeting to start, during nighttime milk pumping, on weekends while the baby sleeps – I make sure I read something that will be worth my time. I’m currently reading Half the Sky; How to Change the World and it is definitely worth it!!! The book derives its name from a Chinese proverb, “Women hold up half the sky” and is mainly about sufferings, poverty, discrimination, oppression and hardship of women all around the world.
I’m not gonna write a book review as I’m not gonna butcher a book this good by giving it an unworthy review. But I just have to say that I did sujud syukur after reading a few chapters of this book, thanking Allah for the life He bestowed upon me. Because I live in this tiny world of mine, with great family and good life, I tend to forget that there is a bigger world out there.
Where people face poverty everyday, not able to provide for, or even feed their children. Where poverty leads women to take the extreme measure; selling sex for money, which later caused most of them being ousted by the society, got addicted to drugs and worst, affected by AIDS.
The bigger world where women are discriminated upon – baby girls murdered and young girls left unfed while the boys are all well nourished. And have you heard about Gendercide? It’s a term for the daily slaughter of girls in the developing world. And just so you know, it has taken more lives in any given decade than all the genocides of the 20th century. And here I thought these things only happened back in jahilliyah days.
The world where women are worth not more than mere sex objects and slaves. The world where girls are not allowed to get education and seek good jobs. Well, basically, the bigger world where women are treated as worthless, second-class human being. Nauzubillah.
It is worth mentioning that the first chapter begins with a story of a Cambodian woman who went to Thailand to seek for better life but was sold to a brothel in Malaysia (we’re famous!) where she was drugged, locked up and forced into prostitution. Oh the story gets better. The woman and some of her friends managed escape but were later imprisoned under our Malaysian Anti-Immigrant law for about a year when she was released but only to be sold by the police to another brothel in Thailand. To that I say, Malaysia Boleh!!! Not!
I have yet to finish even half of the book (blame my limited me-time!) but I must say that with every chapter that I have managed to read, I was incredibly enlightened and moved. I sympathize with the hardship of the women I read and at the same time I am enormously thankful to Allah for this simple, pleasant life I lead. Go grab a copy of the book and I challenge you not to be moved and inspired by it, because I sure was. Shukran Ya Allah :')