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Women Who Light the Dark

by Paola Gianturco

From Book Jacket: 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. 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. 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 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 to fifteen countries on five continents. Hear, in the women's own words, about their lives and work. Sit on the floor talking with sex workers; climb Annapurna with burning lungs; ride in a taxi while political protesters are arrested just blocks away; eat lunch as soldiers carry sandbags to the roof and prepare for battle; watch a traditional healer at work; interview members of parliament; witness a ceremony that welcomes indigenous babies to the world. Above all, be inspired by the courage and creativity of effective women who are kindling hope and possibility for their families, communities, countries, and our world. (c) powerHouse Cultural Entertainment, Inc.

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