Across the first month of 2020, Sophie Baggott is sharing her thirty favourite books by women from across the world. Find out more about her project to read women writers from every country worldwide here.
Co-written with Derrick O’Keefe, this memoir by Malalai Joya is the youngest woman to serve as MP in Afghanistan, and this is the astounding account of her life in a country embroiled in war.
a nutshell: this is the extraordinary story of Malalai Joya, a lifelong women’s rights activist and former politician in her native Afghanistan, whose public denunciation of warlords led to several assassination attempts and suspension from parliament
a line: “By necessity, after decades of brutality, we are our sisters’ keepers”
an image: Joya portrays Afghanistan as a bird with one clipped wing – women – thus it cannot take off until half its people are free; she goes on to clarify that this isn’t achievable through overseas donations or enforceable at gunpoint, and she condemns the use of ‘women’s rights’ as a justification for US occupation
a thought: once again, I was left ashamed of my heritage – Joya writes of how Britain’s resentment at the loss of a colony (post-1919) and fear of a modern, independent country near India saw the British sow rebellion against Afghanistan’s progressive King Amanullah Khan and his reforms (incl. advancing women’s rights and compulsory education for all), culminating in his exile – an overthrow that is considered a disaster in Afghanistan’s history
a fact: this was the first time I heard of the ‘Jihad Schoolbook Scandal‘ – the US government’s $50-million publication of textbooks promoting a militaristic agenda to children in Societ-occupied Afghanistan in an apparent attempt to fuel a jihad against the Russians
want to read Raising My Voice? visit here