A Woman’s Worth | Sophie Cousins book is a dark image of how women survive male-dominated India

By Mansi Sharma in Reviews 19/12/2019

It is a male-dominated society where men are supported and women are neglected,” reads a quote in Sophie Cousins’ ‘A Woman’s Worth’— a book that journals the life of Indian women, right from birth to old age, published by Sage Yoda Press. The striking factor; women are many but the story is one–of challenges, discrimination, and neglect.

 

In this book, award-winning Australian journalist and author, Sophie chronicles the stories of women from various parts of India, facing challenges like sex selection of their children, lack of reproductive rights, fight against diseases like tuberculosis, AIDS, cervical cancer, and drug abuse, which at first glance might look like a research guide for scholars.

 

However, it is much more than that. Sophie has beautifully amalgamated her creative writing skills and journalistic attributes of fact-finding to weave horrific stories of the dire situations a woman has to go through in the country.

 

The way she paints a picture of the interiors of the diverse country, phrasing each attribute of dilapidation as carefully as she narrates the struggles of the women living there, can make one sense a stark similarity between them both.

Be it the parched homes of Mumbai slums despite horrific rains and the malnourished women & children living in them, or the dusty Haryana roads leading to homes of women fighting for their reproductive rights, all speak of the many policy failures Indian government has been dealing with in synchronicity. She also sparkles a few parts with hope as she talks about women who are fighting their own fights and supporting others as well.

 

Sophie is not at all mechanical in her writing, which an author can easily become while dealing with research papers and hoards of data she has referred to within the book. She keeps the emotions of her writing in check to impact the readers and nudge them to look beyond their privileged abodes.

 

The book can be a great guide to researchers, policy-makers, and students who have an interest in working for women rights and gender equality in India. It gives a peek into the many disturbing yet true reasons of why a girl in India is more likely to be aborted, under-nourished, and will have lesser access to healthcare, compared to boys.

 

‘A Woman’s Worth’ takes you to those parts of India which you might admire in photos and rever in traditions but are actually a living hell for the ladies residing there.

 

 

    Currently living in a world ruled by feminist ideas, with background scores from 90’s pop-Punjabi albums deciding my mood for the day. Allegedly writing to follow my passion & always giving out free advice because I can. Psst… Bollywood and pizza are my favourite bias!


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