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The Power of Women: A Doctor's Journey of Hope and Healing

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From Nobel laureate, world-renowned doctor, and noted human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege comes an inspiring clarion call-to-action to confront the scourge of sexual violence and better learn from women's resilience, strength, and power. At the heart of Dr. Mukwege's message will be the voices of the many women he has worked with over the years. Dr. Mukwege will use ind From Nobel laureate, world-renowned doctor, and noted human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege comes an inspiring clarion call-to-action to confront the scourge of sexual violence and better learn from women's resilience, strength, and power. At the heart of Dr. Mukwege's message will be the voices of the many women he has worked with over the years. Dr. Mukwege will use individual cases to reassure all survivors that, even if their psychological wounds may never fully heal, they can recover and thrive with the right care and support. Dr. Mukwege's dramatic personal story is interwoven throughout as he explores the bigger issues that have become a focus of his advocacy. He will seek to explain why sexual violence is so often overlooked during war, and how governments need to recognize and compensate victims. He will also stress the importance of breaking down the taboos surrounding assault, and the necessity of building a system that supports women who come forward. His words advocate for saying 'no' to indifference and he asks readers to reckon with the West's involvement in perpetuating sexual violence in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to confront the abuse taking place in their own communities. Sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum. The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has raged for over 20 years and has claimed an estimated 5 million lives, is inseparable from Western patriarchy and economic colonization. And this cycle of violence and spoils is not limited to Congo. Dr. Mukwege's work has led him to South Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, and elsewhere in Africa, where he has found striking similarities in women's testimonies. The truth is, through the intricate ties of the global economy, we are all implicated in violence against women - whether it occurs amidst the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo or on college campuses in the West. And Dr. Mukwege's writing will address men as well, encouraging and guiding them to become allies in the fight against sexual abuse, in war and in peace. Building more inclusive, gender-balanced societies will require developing what he calls "positive masculinity" - a systemic change in male behavior and attitudes towards women. Dr. Mukwege hopes to inspire other men to speak out and join the struggle, rather than leaving women to fight the battle alone. He will also make the case, drawing from his experience and a wealth of research on the topic, that when women are involved as economic and political decision makers, all of society benefits. The Power of Women will illuminate the enduring strength of women in the face of violence and trauma, and give hope for the potential of individuals to turn the tide.


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From Nobel laureate, world-renowned doctor, and noted human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege comes an inspiring clarion call-to-action to confront the scourge of sexual violence and better learn from women's resilience, strength, and power. At the heart of Dr. Mukwege's message will be the voices of the many women he has worked with over the years. Dr. Mukwege will use ind From Nobel laureate, world-renowned doctor, and noted human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege comes an inspiring clarion call-to-action to confront the scourge of sexual violence and better learn from women's resilience, strength, and power. At the heart of Dr. Mukwege's message will be the voices of the many women he has worked with over the years. Dr. Mukwege will use individual cases to reassure all survivors that, even if their psychological wounds may never fully heal, they can recover and thrive with the right care and support. Dr. Mukwege's dramatic personal story is interwoven throughout as he explores the bigger issues that have become a focus of his advocacy. He will seek to explain why sexual violence is so often overlooked during war, and how governments need to recognize and compensate victims. He will also stress the importance of breaking down the taboos surrounding assault, and the necessity of building a system that supports women who come forward. His words advocate for saying 'no' to indifference and he asks readers to reckon with the West's involvement in perpetuating sexual violence in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to confront the abuse taking place in their own communities. Sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum. The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has raged for over 20 years and has claimed an estimated 5 million lives, is inseparable from Western patriarchy and economic colonization. And this cycle of violence and spoils is not limited to Congo. Dr. Mukwege's work has led him to South Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, and elsewhere in Africa, where he has found striking similarities in women's testimonies. The truth is, through the intricate ties of the global economy, we are all implicated in violence against women - whether it occurs amidst the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo or on college campuses in the West. And Dr. Mukwege's writing will address men as well, encouraging and guiding them to become allies in the fight against sexual abuse, in war and in peace. Building more inclusive, gender-balanced societies will require developing what he calls "positive masculinity" - a systemic change in male behavior and attitudes towards women. Dr. Mukwege hopes to inspire other men to speak out and join the struggle, rather than leaving women to fight the battle alone. He will also make the case, drawing from his experience and a wealth of research on the topic, that when women are involved as economic and political decision makers, all of society benefits. The Power of Women will illuminate the enduring strength of women in the face of violence and trauma, and give hope for the potential of individuals to turn the tide.

30 review for The Power of Women: A Doctor's Journey of Hope and Healing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shahin Keusch

    First of all respect to Denis Mukwege for all the work he has done for the women of the Congo. And respect to the women of the Congo and of the world for fighting this long battle against sexual violence and for not giving up.  I've been wanting to read a book by Denis Mukwege ever since I read the book by Nadia Murad a few years back. They both shared the Nobel Peace Prize. So when I saw that an English book would be released I preordered it immediately. Of course the subject matter of rape and First of all respect to Denis Mukwege for all the work he has done for the women of the Congo. And respect to the women of the Congo and of the world for fighting this long battle against sexual violence and for not giving up.  I've been wanting to read a book by Denis Mukwege ever since I read the book by Nadia Murad a few years back. They both shared the Nobel Peace Prize. So when I saw that an English book would be released I preordered it immediately. Of course the subject matter of rape and sexual violence is tough to hear, but I believe this book is a must read for everyone. The stories are sad but powerful and hopeful.  The book then ends with a few chapters where Dr Mukwege uses his experience to give pointers to governments and for us individually on what should or could be done to change the world and end the big problem of rape.  This book was well worth the wait. Highly recommended to everyone. 

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I received this in a first reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Dr. Mukwege îs a man who I would love to clone. I would also love for there to be no need to clone him. In the book he details his life and his work at Panzi hospital taking care of rape victims. The really remarkable thing about him is that he has had the opportunity to leave and has chosen to stay despite multiple threats on his life and one assassination attempt. My one complaint about the book is that it bounces aroun I received this in a first reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Dr. Mukwege îs a man who I would love to clone. I would also love for there to be no need to clone him. In the book he details his life and his work at Panzi hospital taking care of rape victims. The really remarkable thing about him is that he has had the opportunity to leave and has chosen to stay despite multiple threats on his life and one assassination attempt. My one complaint about the book is that it bounces around and tries to cover to many topics but it isn't serious enough to detract from the five star rating.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    If you only read one book this year, please let it be this one! About strong women who, thanks to this brave man and the people he inspires, are able to rebuild their lives, improve them and support others through initiatives such as City of Joy, Mamans Chéries. Hope in the place and especially the moment where you would least expect it. It's extremely fascinating to see the big picture and what role we too can play in this story through our actions and attitudes in everyday life. And hopefully If you only read one book this year, please let it be this one! About strong women who, thanks to this brave man and the people he inspires, are able to rebuild their lives, improve them and support others through initiatives such as City of Joy, Mamans Chéries. Hope in the place and especially the moment where you would least expect it. It's extremely fascinating to see the big picture and what role we too can play in this story through our actions and attitudes in everyday life. And hopefully a wake-up call for politicians (as well as all of you).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Benedikte

    "I suspect, deep down, that a raped wife is seen by men as a reminder of their own failure to perform what they see as their fundamental duty to protect. They prefer to banish this source of suffering rather than question it or see it as a challenge to be overcome as a couple." Dr. Denis Mukwege is wereldwijd gerenommeerd voor het baanbrekende werk dat hij heeft verricht in Congo, in de brede regio rond Bukavu. Mukwege werd geboren in de jaren '50 van de vorige eeuw en maakte in zijn thuisland he "I suspect, deep down, that a raped wife is seen by men as a reminder of their own failure to perform what they see as their fundamental duty to protect. They prefer to banish this source of suffering rather than question it or see it as a challenge to be overcome as a couple." Dr. Denis Mukwege is wereldwijd gerenommeerd voor het baanbrekende werk dat hij heeft verricht in Congo, in de brede regio rond Bukavu. Mukwege werd geboren in de jaren '50 van de vorige eeuw en maakte in zijn thuisland het eind van het Belgische koloniale bewind mee. Hij zag zijn land door dat opgelegde bestuur drastisch veranderen - helaas niet altijd ten goede - en was ook getuige van hoe opeenvolgende leiders na het einde van de kolonisatie, Zaïre/Congo verder de verdoemenis in duwden. Door het uitbreken van de genocide in Rwanda midden jaren '90 en de daarmee gepaard gaande gruwel die over landsgrenzen uitbreidde, greep Mukwege zijn medische kennis aan om datgene te doen wat niemand ooit had gedaan. Hij ontfermde zich met ongeziene ambitie en veerkracht over het lot van de honderden, duizenden, tienduizenden vrouwen die in de regio het slachtoffer worden/werden van (groeps)verkrachtingen en ongeziene seksuele uitbuiting. Mukwege heeft intussen decennia van barbaarse praktijken verteerd en werd meermaals met de dood bedreigd. Zijn beslissing om het op te nemen voor verkrachte en misbruikte vrouwen kwam er niet zonder slag of stoot. In de meest hachelijke omstandigheden zette hij het (nog steeds actieve) Panzi Hospital op poten. De plek biedt intussen medische en brede psychologische bijstand aan alle slachtoffers die er zich melden. Met Panzi bepleiten Mukwege en zijn team het 'brede herstel' van diegenen wiens eer en lichaam soms nagenoeg compleet verwoest zijn. Die dagelijkse strijd heeft de wereldberoemde dokter in 'The Power of Women' onomwonden neergepend. Van bij het begin geeft Mukwege aan dat het misschien gek is dat uitgerekend een man de positie van de vrouwen bepleit en tot hoogste goed uitroept. Maar, zo legt hij uit, het is uitgerekend de wereldwijde acceptatie van het feit dat vrouwen net dat tikje minder waard zijn dan mannen, die tot de barbaarse praktijken in gebieden als Congo heeft geleid. Het land bulkt van de natuurlijke rijkdom - Mukwege noemt het 'a geological scandal'- waar al decennialang om gevochten en gemoord wordt. In een 100% patriarchaal stelsel worden vrouwen als pion in die strijd ingezet om de samenleving structureel en economisch maximaal te ontwrichten. Door een compleet gebrek aan betrouwbare justitie en politie en door wijdverspreide corruptie, kan dit model gedijen en steeds meer macabere vormen aannemen. Het gevolg is dat Congo intussen al drie generaties vrouwen kent die systematisch in hun basisrechten werden geschonden en bovendien zelf als schuldige worden aangewezen voor het lot dat hen overviel. De problematiek van Congo is niet exclusief, onderstreept Mukwege, maar het opvallende is wel dat de internationale gemeenschap er opvallend lang van heeft weggekeken. Met de hulp van activisten en sympathisanten lokaal en wereldwijd, heeft Mukwege desondanks een brok verschil kunnen maken en de levens van duizenden vrouwen en vaak (erg) jonge meisjes gered. Hij vertelt zonder de franje over de walgelijke praktijken die mannen op vrouwen toepassen en in welke staat die uiteindelijk in zijn hospitaal belanden. Een zuchtje verwijderd van de dood, uitgestoten door familie: dat is de doorsnee vrouwelijke Panzi-patiënte. En, zo verduidelijkt Mukwege, het is nodig om te beseffen dat we met elke smartphone, elke elektrische wagen en elk juweel dat we kopen, dit gruwelmodel eigenlijk mee in stand houden. Net omdat zijn regio het gros van de grondstoffen voor die westerse welvaartsproducten levert. Ondanks de zeer trage evolutie van de toestand en Congo en de internationale sabotage van zijn werk, blijft Mukwege volharden in de strijd. Het leverde hem intussen internationale erkenning op, met de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede als kers op de taart. De auteur legt uit waarom die lichtpuntjes en de onvoorwaardelijke steun van zijn naasten en vrouwen uit de regio, hem doen blijven geloven en laten doorgaan met zijn missie. Tegelijk onderstreept hij dat verandering er pas écht kan komen, als vrouwen - met de onvoorwaardelijke steun van mannen - als gelijkwaardig worden aanzien en behandeld. De #metoo-beweging heeft alvast een en ander in beweging gezet en geniet Mukweges absolute steun en sympathie. Daarnaast is het zaak, zegt hij, om vrouwen in alle lagen van de samenleving te betrekken en te remunereren zoals dat met mannen gebeurt. Alleen als dat de norm wordt, zal (systematische) verkrachting niet langer als aanvaard, gangbaar of 'zelf veroorzaakt' beschouwd worden. Samengevat: we hebben nog een lange weg te gaan in deze wereld, maar Mukwege heeft al een stuk van het pad geëffend op gevaar van eigen leven. 'The Power of Women' schetst dat traject onverbloemd. Het is geen vrolijk boek. De opsomming van walgelijke praktijken en verpletterende gevolgen voor de vrouwen van Congo, is ronduit onthutsend. Dit relaas kun je dus onmogelijk in één keer uitlezen, maar het 'lezen' is hoe dan ook essentieel, voor iedereen die 'de mens' naar waarde schat en verkondigt dat die mens in wezen recht heeft op het beste. Immers: wat zijn vrouwen anders... dan mensen?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Required reading for everyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    BHARATHI ARUNAN

    A book which will redefine your priorities.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Seaman

    This book was hard to read but so important at the same time. It focuses on the reality of rape in wartime. Dr. Mukwege talks about the world as a whole as well as focuses on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dr. Mukwege is truly an inspiring person and I am glad to have read about his work around the world. His advocacy for the women in Congo is amazing. I feel like everyone needs to learn more about everything that is going on around the world. There is so much glossing over what really ha This book was hard to read but so important at the same time. It focuses on the reality of rape in wartime. Dr. Mukwege talks about the world as a whole as well as focuses on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dr. Mukwege is truly an inspiring person and I am glad to have read about his work around the world. His advocacy for the women in Congo is amazing. I feel like everyone needs to learn more about everything that is going on around the world. There is so much glossing over what really happened in the history books. I am determined to learn more about the issues brought up in this book. *eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    The Power of Women is an incredibly compelling reflection on Dr. Mukwege's work to mend the physical and emotion wounds of women in the Congo who have suffered sexual violence. Dr. Mukwege weaves patients' narratives, Congolese history and politics, the implications of global policy on individual lives, while tracing the origins of gender disparities and how they engender sexual assault globally. Reading this was such a privilege. I am moved by Dr. Mukwege's dedication to his patients, community The Power of Women is an incredibly compelling reflection on Dr. Mukwege's work to mend the physical and emotion wounds of women in the Congo who have suffered sexual violence. Dr. Mukwege weaves patients' narratives, Congolese history and politics, the implications of global policy on individual lives, while tracing the origins of gender disparities and how they engender sexual assault globally. Reading this was such a privilege. I am moved by Dr. Mukwege's dedication to his patients, community, country, and the mitigation of global suffering and inequity. After reading, I find myself reflecting more on the doctor I wish to be the and the context in which I will practice. Thank you for sharing and your commitment to women's equality. The Power of Women inspires hope for a better tomorrow and elucidates the avenues through which we can all influence and support change.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan Harrop-McDiarmid

    Covers the personal, medical, psychological, familial, community, cultural and international effects of violence against women. Dr Mukwege's personal commitment to women's health and the health of communities in the DRC and beyond is compelling. I don't think anyone could read the stories herein without being affected. He traces the colonial, post-colonial, economic and political history of the Congo and its neighbouring countries which we all have a stake in via copper and rare earth metals fou Covers the personal, medical, psychological, familial, community, cultural and international effects of violence against women. Dr Mukwege's personal commitment to women's health and the health of communities in the DRC and beyond is compelling. I don't think anyone could read the stories herein without being affected. He traces the colonial, post-colonial, economic and political history of the Congo and its neighbouring countries which we all have a stake in via copper and rare earth metals found in our cell phones. This is another book which directly connects war and internal conflict with sexual slavery and one hopes enough people learn from it. His suggestions for community interventions make sense. One of the most courageous humans I have read about.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Jennings

    This is a GREAT book...and it states... "...The Power of Women will illuminate the enduring strength of women in the face of violence and trauma, and give hope for the potential of individuals to turn the tide." The writer, Denis Mukwege, is a superb writer! He describes centuries of abuse and tragedy revolving around women...and calls everyone to action...worldwide... This is a very powerful read...and covers so many issues regarding women and their on-going issues... And it calls out to us men also This is a GREAT book...and it states... "...The Power of Women will illuminate the enduring strength of women in the face of violence and trauma, and give hope for the potential of individuals to turn the tide." The writer, Denis Mukwege, is a superb writer! He describes centuries of abuse and tragedy revolving around women...and calls everyone to action...worldwide... This is a very powerful read...and covers so many issues regarding women and their on-going issues... And it calls out to us men also, to help eliminate this horrific conditions that have been on-going forever... Highly Recommended!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    The Power of Women... Not the book I expected, but an immensely detailed journey through women's rights, healing after sexual violence, and policies that are slowly changing life for women around the world. Shocking stories of victims of sexual crimes visiting the author's hospital for treatment and the author's participation in working with community leaders to change member's views of rape and punishment for these types of crimes was evident throughout. Many stressful events and triggers were The Power of Women... Not the book I expected, but an immensely detailed journey through women's rights, healing after sexual violence, and policies that are slowly changing life for women around the world. Shocking stories of victims of sexual crimes visiting the author's hospital for treatment and the author's participation in working with community leaders to change member's views of rape and punishment for these types of crimes was evident throughout. Many stressful events and triggers were discussed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mau

    SUCH a great book. It is very shocking to read how women are still treated in this time and age, but i think everyone should read it. Especially men. Denis Mukwege not only critiques the patriachal society we live in, but also comes with brilliant thought-out ideas of how to better this world for women. A must read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    B Wr

    This book has some rather graphic descriptions of the horrors that Dr. Mukwege has witnessed and been told about. However I could not recommend this book strongly enough. He discusses the issues particular to women's rights in his home country of Congo as well as women's rights worldwide. He is an inspiring person and gives me hope that advocates can and do arise to fight for male and female survivors of sexual violence. This book has some rather graphic descriptions of the horrors that Dr. Mukwege has witnessed and been told about. However I could not recommend this book strongly enough. He discusses the issues particular to women's rights in his home country of Congo as well as women's rights worldwide. He is an inspiring person and gives me hope that advocates can and do arise to fight for male and female survivors of sexual violence.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Renata Borecki

    Eye opener. It’s amazing how the author transforms from a doctor to an activist for the rights of sexual abuse survivors. The complexity of the problem and the blind eye the world is turning to it is mind boggling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara Debusschere

    Wat een mooi boek ❤️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    A gift. Holding this one close to my heart and sharing it with everyone I can!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Louise

    Wonderful

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diane Plummer

    Thank you Dr. Mukwege for getting this out there so everyone can know and help.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  20. 5 out of 5

    Oceane

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

  22. 5 out of 5

    Megann623icloud.Com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Esthi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Asphodelity

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nick Menn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vizara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Priya Patel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Takudzwa Shumba

  30. 4 out of 5

    Izzy Jarvis

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