Friday, October 26, 2012

Nicholas Kristof speaks up for women

Nicholas Kristof, a reporter with the New York Times, and author of Half the Sky, presented yesterday at The Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series held at the University of Minnesota.  He contended that during the 19th century the world's greatest moral challenge was slavery.  For the 20th century we were confronted with dealing with totalitarianism.  This century Mr. Kristof believes our most significant challenge is to eradicate the oppression of women and girls.

Despite their being a slight tendency for more girls to be born than boys, he observed that their are actually more boys in the world.  This is in large part due to the estimated 60-120 million missing girls around the world.  Sadly in some countries when their isn't food enough to go around, it is the girls that are the first to go hungry.  Many couples also abort girls, with hopes that they might have a son to support them in their later years.

Hubert Humphrey
Sex trafficking was also discussed; both globally and locally.  He noted that for progress to occur on this front we should no longer treat the girls as criminals, but rather the pimps and johns.  Minnesota has promoted this effort in Safe Harbor legislation.

The marketing of sex trafficking is also occurring through the BackPage publication. Pressure needs to be placed on this publication, which is linked to Village Voice media.

Mr. Kristof concluded that helping people is often harder than we think.  However, though we may not be successful in making effective change in others, we are certain to help ourselves by engaging in a cause that is larger than ourselves.

This event was sponsored by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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