An absorbing, heart-breaking, powerful read, describing the lives of millions of women around the world. I was moved to tears on many occasions, and I will not be the same again after learning of the horrible reality (and vast extent) of sex slavery, rape as a means of war, cultural misogyny, inadequate maternal care leading to preventable deaths..... and the list goes on. Yet the book offers hope, and change is possible and we can all be a part of it. I recommend it to everyone with a conscience.
Wow, what a book this was!! Confronting, shocking, heartbreaking....but also uplifting, hopeful and empowering.
The authors of this book have clearly done a LOT of research, as well as physically travelling to most of the places mentioned in this book, which would no doubt have been confronting at times. I had always had a feeling that some of the high-profile Aid agencies were not necessarily going about helping people in the third world in the most efficient way possible, but reading this book was a complete eye-opener! So many brave, brave women in countries where culture and a lack of funds (and a host of other things) held them back, but they were pioneers who helped others along the way. I would love to shake each and every one of their hands. If I was younger, I would go and volunteer somewhere too.
This was an incredible book, and a must-read for everyone, I think. Since it has been 10 years now since the book first came out, I think a follow-up book would be fabulous, let us know what has happened to some of the people in this book, in the intervening years. Also, would love to know how some of the businesses which were just getting off the ground in the book, are doing today.
I give this book 5 stars because if everyone in the first world read it and applied some of their time, energy and funds to the women of the third world, the world as a whole would be a much nicer place, for everyone.
Thank you to Taryn Brumfitt (from Embrace), who mentioned this book as a "must read". She was right!
Being one of those people who feel compelled to help the less privileged by volunteering overseas, this was a real eye opener as to how many times our efforts are wasted because we think our way, the western way, is what they need. Or just we think we know best because they are poor. This book really highlights how we must get a better understanding of other peoples cultures, what drives their decisions, and empower them to help themselves. I learnt a humiliating lesson, without losing my motivation to support those born into a less fortunate way of life.