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Women Who Light the Darkby Paola Gianturco and Kravita N. Ramdas
Synopses & Reviews
Across the world, local women are helping one another tackle the problems that darken their lives — domestic violence, sex trafficking, war, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, inequality, malnutrition, disease. These women may lack material resources, but they possess a wealth of an even more precious resource: imagination. And their imaginations light the dark.
Women in Morocco create and produce plays that educate illiterate people about women's rights. Girls in Zimbabwe compose and perform poetry that shocks communities into fighting child rape. In Viet Nam, counselors heal survivors of domestic violence with line dancing, art, and games. Teachers in India invent puppet shows that help homeless children understand AIDS.
Brazilian math teachers inspire girls from the favelas to learn arithmetic by originating fashion shows. Roma women in Slovakia collaborate with non-Roma women to design postcards, kindling communication in place of suspicion. Lesbians in Argentina develop and stage street skits, demonstrating against discrimination. A master ballet teacher instructs a thousand poor Cuban children in classical dance.
Sometimes imagination takes the form of innovative strategies. In Nepal, women teach their sisters to drive taxis and guide treks, and in Nicaragua, to become welders, carpenters, and electricians — all supposedly men's jobs.
In Kenya, mothers get wells dug so their daughters can go to school instead of walking seven hours to fetch water. In Cambodia, doctors and nurses conduct mobile clinics and arrange loans to give indigent women the health and funds to start businesses, foiling sex traffickers who try to lure women with promises of income. In Cameroun, medical specialists train traditional rulers and healers whose behavior has inadvertently spread AIDS to become health educators. In the United States, activists introduce women with disabilities to challenge courses, camping, whitewater rafting, and swimming, empowering them to lead others who are disabled.
Travel with photojournalist Paola Gianturco: climb Annapurna; eat lunch while soldiers carry sandbags to the roof; watch a traditional healer at work; attend a Muslim reception with ambassadors, rabbis, bishops, and cabinet ministers; witness a ceremony that welcomes indigenous babies to the world.
Listen as 129 women in fifteen countries on five continents describe their lives, dreams and work. They will inspire you with their courage, creativity, and effectiveness as they kindle hope and possibilities for their families, communities, countries, and our world.
For more information, visit www.womenwholightthedark.com
About the Author
Paola Gianturco is the author/photographer of Celebrating Women (powerHouse Books, 2004) and the coauthor/photographer of In Her Hands: Craftswomen Changing the World and ¡Viva Colores! A Salute to the Indomitable People of Guatemala (powerHouse Books, 2004 and 2006). Her work has been exhibited at the United States Senate, the United Nations, and the Field Museum, Chicago. Gianturco has served on the boards of International Nature & Cultural Adventures, the Association for Women's Rights in Development, and the Crafts Center, which works with women artisans in 79 countries. She has co-taught Executive Institutes about Women and Leadership at Stanford University. Gianturco lives in Mill Valley, California.
Kavita N. Ramdas has served as president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women since 1996. She is a board member of the Women's Funding Network, Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees, and the Council of Advisors on Gender Equity to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Her recent awards include the Women of Substance Award by the African Women's Development Fund, Juliette Gordon Low Award by the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Woman of the Year for the Public Sector by the Financial Women's Association.
Global Fund for Women is an international network of women and men committed to a world of equality and social justice; 2007 marks their 20th anniversary. They advocate for and defend women's human rights by making grants to support women's groups around the world. Paola Gianturco is donating 100% of her author royalties to Global Fund for Women. www.globalfundforwomen.org
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