Sunday, March 7, 2010

Women Hold Up Half the Sky

March 8th is International Woman's Day, so we can take some time to learn about women.


First take a look at this woman. Make a comment about her. Listen to my questions, think about possible answers, and then record them. Later, I will tell you about her. Here is a link to a new window.

Listening and vocabulary:

Next, listen to this report from Nicholas Kristof, an excellent journalist from the New York Times. He has written a book about women throughout the world. He called this book, "Half the Sky." Click here and listen to the beginning of this story today. Listen and  answer the questions from your class handout about Saima Mohammed. Her story is inspiring! (You can listen to all of the story, or just the beginning about Saima Mohammed.)

Click on comment. Answer one or more of these questions:
  1. Who is an inspiring woman that you know? How has this woman been important to you?
  2. What would you do with a small business loan? Would you start a business in this country or in a different country?
  3. What is the biggest obstacle facing women today in your opinion? What can help women overcome this obstacle?


  1. Even if we are in 21th century, I think the biggest obstacle for a woman is to be a woman. Nowadays, in several countries, women are supposed to be equal with men, but there will still be differences between men and women. In work, activities, responsibilities, etc... But, for some things, it can't be otherwise because men and women are physically different. And for other things, men think they are better and say women are too emotional to do things they want. But the women's personality make them stronger that men, and I think it's really uncomfortable for men to feel weaker than women.
    In other countries, women are still considered useless unless they are pregnant and have a boy.
    Otherwise, in too many countries for our century, women are like slaves and undergo violence from men. Because men are like kings even if they are nothing important except men...
    I saw a documentary about India where parents threw their baby in trash because she was a girl. A girl is considered useless because she can't do the same job as men and bring money. Also, they have to find her a husband and it's difficult. So, they can't take care of a girl because it's problems for them and they are too poor.
    But today, the world tries to change and we can see some women fighting to be free. World has to change women's life all over the world.

  2. And different countries women can not have the same job as men because they think that mens are more strong and smart than hers But i think now in this day women can do what ever they want women can work and study a the same time.but i think this idea came from long time ago the women are the weak sex that is because men take advantage of it.Its good sample about Saima that she started a small business she can not depend on her husband any more.

  3. I am proud of all European's women who fought to have rights. Now women are allowed to work, to vote and to say what they want. There are still some disparities between men and women (for instance, the salary is higher sometimes for men), but I think woman are completely free. I am not a feminist. I don't want to have the same life than a man but I want to be able to do what I want when I want. In other countries many women are not free and men decide their life for them. For me, the biggest problem is the woman's moral and physical violence and the woman's abuses. Men make oppression to prevent women wearing what they want or speaking freely. It is like women belong to men and not to themselves, like they are not someone fully-fledged.

  4. Education. Education and the free choice, I think this are some of the great problem, we have been living IN this taboo that the women doesn't need to think, go to school, etc., but the society is the one who turns us (women) in a big "problem" when the society turns it's back to our face