Liralen's Reviews > However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph

However Long the Night by Aimee Molloy
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Apr 01, 2014

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bookshelves: africa, z-2014, nonfiction, take-back-the-night, hear-me-roar, reviewed

If I hadn't head of Tostan before, I'd probably call this too good to be true. The founder, Molly Melching, moved to Senegal as a young woman and eventually founded an organization that works to educate and empower women. Eventually they added a teaching module on women's health and, with trepidation, included in that module information on female genital cutting. It's a difficult thing to talk about, and in places FGC is an entrenched enough tradition that it's an extremely difficult thing to get people to stop doing -- so Tostan didn't: they understood that communities had to come to that decision on their own. The movement gradually spread, first across Senegal and then to other parts of Africa.

Half the Sky mentions Tostan, and for good reason -- it's been successful in large part because it operates on the assumption that outsiders don't know what is most necessary, and that what is most effective is to work with the people involved to find out.

The book gets only three stars from me because I found the writing rather lacking in oomph. The author gets the story across, but in a relatively, hmm, simplistic way. It makes for a very fast read (too fast, in fact -- it was the only book I brought to work yesterday, and I had the first slow day in weeks -- which meant that I finished the book before my commute home. Woe!) but also one that could use more depth. Definitely, definitely a story worth reading, though.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
April 1, 2014 – Shelved
April 5, 2014 – Shelved as: africa
April 11, 2014 – Shelved as: z-2014
April 11, 2014 – Shelved as: nonfiction
April 11, 2014 – Shelved as: take-back-the-night
April 11, 2014 – Shelved as: hear-me-roar
April 12, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed

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