08 Mar

What was the last book you read? Did you read an actual book which meant you turned the paper pages, or did you slide your finger over the screen of your digital device? Was it in your own language or another? 

Today so many books are translated into many languages, you can read JK Rowlings’ Harry Potter in its original English or try it in one of 70 other languages. The more recent Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams has also been translated into multiple languages from its original English. 

I have just finished A thousand splendid suns, by Khaled Hosseini who also wrote The Kite Runner, for the second time. The book is set in Taliban ruled Afghanistan and it is about the ultimate strength of women; after all March 8 is International Women’s Day. The life of Mariam is shattered when she is sent away at 15 to Kabul to marry a much older man. Here she became little more than a chattel (a personal possession), many readers would think – why did she not leave this man. Yet we cannot fully grasp the rules that dictate the role of women in certain societies. Twenty years later 15 year old Laila meets Mariam we see how women survive many atrocities. Their friendship gives them the ability to triumph over the customs that try to destroy them. 

Never underestimate the power of women, think about women in your culture who have broken barriers. As GD Anderson[1] said,  

"Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong; it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." 

Do you have a favourite book about women being strong in cultural or other circumstances which an outsider may think is actually discounting those women? I’d love to hear about it. 

   [1] Geena Dunne Anderson, Australian writer, feminist and founder of The Cova Project   

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