Sheryl WuDunn

Author, journalist
As a journalist reporting on China, Sheryl WuDunn saw the everyday oppression of women around the world. She and Nick Kristof wrote "Half the Sky," chronicling women's stories of horror and, especially, hope.

Why you should listen

Sheryl WuDunn and her husband, Nick Kristof, won a Pulitzer for their New York Times coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Their joint reporting work in China and other developing nations convinced them both that, just as slavery was the moral issue of the 19th century, sex trafficking, gender-based violence and other abuses make women's rights the moral issue of the 21st.

In their book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, WuDunn and Kristof make the case for empowering women as a means of development. Women tend to spend more on education, nutrition and business, the economic engines of growth in a community. And if we can find ways to develop the untapped potential of the millions of women who are now left uneducated, denied basic rights, oppressed and threatened -- we'll turn on a firehose of economic power that could transform the developing world.

What others say

“Half the Sky is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say 'No more!' to the 17th-century abuses to girls and women in the 21st-century world.” — Tom Brokaw

Sheryl WuDunn’s TED talk