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Kristof Shares Message of Gender Equality at Meredith

Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof brought his campaign for women’s empowerment to Meredith College on September 20, 2010.

“In this century, the cause of our times is gender inequality around the world,” Kristof said to an audience of more than 800 people during an evening lecture. Kristof also spoke to the Meredith community during an afternoon Q&A session.

Kristof is the co-author of Meredith’s 2010 Summer Reading Program selection “Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide.”

In “Half the Sky,” Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, explore issues faced by women around the world, and offer ways readers can help make a difference. He shared the stories of some of the women and girls featured in the book during his lecture at Meredith.

“Girls are being discriminated against to death,” Kristof said.

“In an equitable world, there would be more women than men, but this isn’t an equitable world. When there isn’t enough food to go around, you feed your sons and starve your daughters.”

Kristof argued that women’s inequality is not just a women’s issue.

“If you want to fight poverty, terrorism or civil conflict, the most cost effective way is to educate girls and bring them into the workforce,” he said. “There are no silver bullets, but the closest you can get is education.”

By writing the book, Kristof and WuDunn hope to recruit readers into supporting women’s equality issues. For more information on ways to get involved, visit

A columnist for The New York Times since 2001, Kristof earned a Pulitzer in 1990 with WuDunn for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, and another in 2006 for commentary on genocide in Darfur and other parts of the world.

Kristof’s visit was part of the 2010-11 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series at Meredith College. The series supports Meredith’s campus theme, which for 2010-11 is “Critical Thinking for Critical Times.”

Photo information: 2010 Summer Reading author Nicholas Kristof speaks to students during an afternoon Q&A session.

Date Submitted: 2010-09-20

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