Dinner with Nickolas Kristof and Yale”s College Council for CARE


By Sophie Kramer, President, Yale College Council for CARE

The pivotal problem of the 21st century is the oppression of women. This is the theme of Nicholas Kristof”s book Half the Sky and was the focus of his lecture at Yale University on April 5. Mr. Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times, spoke to an audience of more than 500 Yale students, faculty, and members of the New Haven community. The event was organized by CARE”s chapter at Yale and was followed by a dinner with Mr. Kristof and members of Yale”s College Council for CARE.

Sex trafficking, disparities in education, and poor maternal health are among the litany of problems Mr. Kristof described as facing women around the world today. He recounted the stories of women he has met in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East who have suffered or been barred from opportunities on the basis of their gender. Yet, he was careful to pronounce that these stories are not only of tragedy but also of opportunity. When Mr. Kristof”s column triggered a stream of donations to a school in India, girls were given access to education and years later a positive ripple effect can be seen throughout the community. A woman in Africa was abandoned by her family in the desert after she developed a fistula following childbirth. She crawled for days to the home of a missionary who brought her to a hospital, and today she is a nurse at this facility after benefiting from its training and education programs.

Mr. Kristof spoke not only to inform his audience but also with a call for engagement. Students can engage in local needs, and men should pay attention as well because “missing women isn”t just a women”s issue.’ To those who might ask him why they should care about global poverty and the empowerment of women, Mr. Kristof”s response is that we have won the lottery of life, and we must use our voice to help the most voiceless people in the world. He also maintains that it brings us perspective and boosts our own happiness to engage in a largesr cause.