Sue Lloyd Roberts spent her life filming in hostile areas, where women were mistreated. In this book she talks about how women are treated around the world and what is (or isn’t) being done to fight their corner.
This was the book for my feminist bookgroup in July, and I think I can safely say we found it pretty hopeless. I think it is an important and eye opening book to read, but it does make you despair a bit.
The full title of the book includes the line ‘The Women Who Fight Back’, and whilst these women did exist- and were very admirable for it- often their ‘fight’ actually made little real difference.
The most stark and memorable of these was the story of the female peacekeeper charged with routing out sex trafficking in war torn areas. When she found that a lot of her fellow American peacekeepers were using the services of these abused girls she tried to put things right- and was dismissed for the pleasure.
Some of these stories are ones you may know, the brutal rape of a woman on a bus in India, the frequent sexual and physical attacks during protests in Egypt, but you may not know the levels, and how things stand today.
There were also things I know were an issue, but not quite how close to home. I knew about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), but I guess I (maybe naively) presumed that even on girls in Britain it happened abroad.
I’m not going to rate this book, I think it’s important to read, but a rating is a bit too much about pleasure. I wouldn’t say it was pleasurable. In terms of readability it was good, graphic when it needed to be but without trying to drown you in emotion, and not too obviously political or ‘news-y’.