Book reviews · Discussions

The War on Women || Gender Inequality is Everywhere

The War on Women- Our Fight Back

Oh jeez, is there no place in Earth where there are no gender inequality?!
SOMEONE GIVE ME A UTOPIA PLEEEASSSEEE??!!!

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The War on Women & The Brave Ones Who Fight Back
Sue Lloyd-Roberts

RRP: $39.99

Goodreads 
Simon & Schuster

In 1973, Sue Lloyd Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be the UK’s first female video-journalist to report alone from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union, China and Iran. During her 30-year-long career she travelled the world and witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredible determination to fight back.

The War on Women brings to life the inconceivable and dangerous life Sue led, it tells the story of Mary Merritt who was imprisoned in a baby laundry in Dublin, and of Monica, who was trafficked and forced into the sex trade in Bosnia. She gives voice to Maimouna, the woman responsible for taking over her mother’s role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia and provides a platform for the 11-year-old Manemma, who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings, Sue has examined humankind’s history and takes us on a journey to analyse the state of women’s lives today. Most importantly she acts as a mouthpiece for the brave ones; the ones who challenge wrongdoing; the ones who show courage no matter how afraid they are; the ones who are combatting violence across the globe; the ones who are fighting back.

Sue sadly died in 2015, shortly after writing this book, today she is widely recognised as one of the most acclaimed television journalists of her generation. This book is the small tribute to the full and incredible life she lived and through it these women’s voices are still being heard.

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I finished the book with tears. Tears shed for the millions and billions of women suffering around the world and tears shed because the problem didn’t seem to cease despite the effort of so many. But that effort was always outweighed by those who tolerate and contribute to gender inequality.

This book is emotional, confrontational and brutally honest. But, there are sparks of hope throughout the book – stories about women who have escaped or have dedicated their life to improving the lives of women everywhere. My favourite chapter (though it’s difficult to choose) would probably be the chapter of Ireland’s Fallen Women and the chapter on India and how it is considered the most dangerous place to be born a woman. It’s my favourite because it showed how much hasn’t really changed. Ireland – which is supposed to be a developed country with a high quality of life –  has a recent history of beating young women, forcing them into labour and stealing their babies away. India, despite its rapid economic growth and industrialisation is still dealing with the mass rape and mistreatment of young girls. The book reiterates the point that in a lot of countries, cows are more valued and treated better than women.

I would have liked to meet Sue Lloyd-Roberts. She sounded like such a brave women filled with so much hope and this sense of justice that not a lot of people have. The last chapter was the most emotional since her daughter finished the book reflecting on the influence her mother had on her and on so much women around the world. I think it’s safe to say that she is still heavily influencing women through this book. It is a must-read for everyone!

Making a Difference

Finishing the book, it seemed appropriate to end this little series with how one can personally change the gender inequality around them.

The author dedicated her life to highlighting these issues and bringing the wrong to justice After finishing the book, there is this strong obligation to join the fight FOR women. Personally, being a journalist who reports these issues or a UN lawyer who brings these cruel and merciless people before the court, is perhaps how I want to contribute the the fight.Though unlikely, I really really really really hope and want to see the world without gender inequality – without female genital mutilation, without child marriage, without rape. No doubtedly, this will require A LOT of hard work, and sacrifice but it will all be worth it.

How do you want to contribute to the fight for women?

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