Sunday, 5 November 2017


The War on Women pulls together stories that the late Sue Lloyd-Roberts collected during her decades of work as a journalist. Sadly, Lloyd-Roberts passed away before she could see her finished work published. Sue's daughter Sarah therefore wrote the introduction of the book and the final chapter about pay inequality in the UK which for me, added a whole new level of poignancy to the reading of the book, as if feminism flows from generation to generation. 

Even though it's not presented as feminist literature, central to all of the stories are some of the worst cases of abuse against women globally. From sexual violence, to female mutilation, to honour killings, there are some very graphic  and disturbing descriptions within the book. Yet, Lloyd-Roberts' nuanced writing style lets the stories and the facts speak for themselves, rather than covering the horrific atrocities faced by the women central to the narrative in an overly emotional or sensationalised style. 

What is made painstakingly clear in The War on Women is the unmistakably patriarchal values which dictate women's lives; a woman's virtue is more often than not, placed above their life and women are endlessly imprisoned, abused, or murdered for failing to adhere to their 'moral duty' as women. In so many examples, it is sadly the women themselves who are enforcing the patriarchal values which bind their position in society, mainly because they have no choice, or because they are brainwashed by the societies which ingrain a sense of low worth and inferiority into how women perceive themselves. 

Antonia x 

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