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Fun Fact: Women's advocate shared a Pulitzer Prize for what?

Sheryl WuDunnJournalist Sheryl WuDunn, right, will discuss women’s issues and her book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide at a Nov. 18 lecture. She and co-author Nicholas Kristof became the first married couple to receive the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of what event? 

A. The fall of the Berlin Wall

B.  The 1990 U.S. invasion of Iraq

C. The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

D. The capture of Saddam Hussein

The correct answer is C: The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

WuDunn and Kristof were New York Times reporters in Beijing at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests. The Pulitzer was awarded to them in the International Reporting category “for knowledgeable reporting from China on the mass movement for democracy and its subsequent suppression.”

Mary Beth ButlerWuDunn will discuss women’s issues and her book at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the University Union, Lyceum. The lecture is free and is sponsored by UNT-International. Mary Beth Butler, left, director of communications for UNT-International, is our guest Fun Fact contributor, and she'll be there. "I'm very passionate about the topic," she said.

Enter to win a copy of Half the Sky by sending an e-mail to InHouse with “Sky” in the subject line by 5 p.m. Nov. 5. Winners will be selected at random from all responses.

The title Half the Sky comes from a Chinese proverb of Mao Zedong: “Women hold up half the sky.” WuDunn and Kristof wrote the book to chronicle women's stories of horror and hope. Among their extraordinary adventures is their purchase of two women living in sex slavery, and then working to help the women develop independent lives and methods of self-support.    

WuDunn and Kristof have created a foundation, Half the Sky Movement, and WuDunn led the development of the Half the Sky multimedia effort. They have created a thoughtful philanthropic strategy that includes extensive information, resources and a documentary series.

Half the Sky bookHalf the Sky lays out an agenda for three major abuses:

  • sex trafficking and forced prostitution
  • gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape
  • maternal mortality, which claims one woman a minute

“We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world,” explains WuDunn. “We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference.”

WuDunn is a third generation Chinese American and is the first Asian American to receive the Pulitzer Prize. She also has received the George Polk Award and an Overseas Press Club for reporting from China. She earned degrees from Cornell, Princeton and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

WuDunn and Kristof also co-authored China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power and Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia.   

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