Toufah

The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 12 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 10 Oct 2021
Steerforth Press, Truth to Power

Talking about this book? Use #Toufah #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

*One of The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2021 (Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly)*
 
"This powerful story shouldn’t be missed." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
An incandescent and inspiring memoir of resilience from a courageous young woman whose powerful advocacy brings to mind the presence, resolve, and moral authority of Amanda Gorman and Greta Thunberg


Before launching an unprecedented protest movement, Toufah Jallow was just a 19-year-old dreaming of a scholarship.
 
Encouraged by her mother to pursue her own ambitions, Toufah entered a presidential competition purportedly designed to identify the country's smart young women and support their educational and career goals. Toufah won.
 
Yahya Jammeh, the dictator who had ruled The Gambia all of Toufah's life, styled himself as a pious yet progressive protector of women. At first he behaved in a fatherly fashion toward Toufah, but then proposed marriage, and she turned him down. On a pretext, his female cousin then lured Toufah to the palace, where he drugged and raped her.
 
Toufah could not tell anyone. There was literally no word for rape in her native language. If she told her parents, they would take action, and incur Jammeh's wrath. Wearing a niqab to hide her identity, she gave Jammeh’s security operatives the slip and fled to Senegal. Her eventual route to safety in Canada is full of close calls and intrigue.
 
18 months after Jammeh was deposed, Toufah Jallow became the first woman in The Gambia to make a public accusation of rape against him, sparking marches of support and a social media outpouring of shared stories among West African women under #IAmToufah.
 
Each brave and bold decision she made set Toufah on the path to reclaim the personal growth and education that Jammeh had tried to steal from her, a future also of leadership and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence, especially in heavily patriarchal countries lacking resources and laws to protect women and even the language with which to speak openly about sexual threats and violence.
*One of The Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2021 (Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly)*
 
"This powerful story shouldn’t be missed." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
An incandescent and inspiring...

Advance Praise

"A fiercely readable, potent memoir of a survivor who refuses to be silenced."
—Kirkus (starred review)

"A fiercely readable, potent memoir of a survivor who refuses to be silenced."
—Kirkus (starred review)


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781586423001
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send To Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 5 members


Featured Reviews

This woman, this book, this message! An amazing read from start to end. I don't hear much of the news, so I do not remember seeing this displayed on our news bulletins. Yet here I am reading a book, about a girl who turned into a woman and created the #Metoo Movement. This book shows what strength Toufah has, yet also what strength she is encouraging other women to have. This was a true story of courage, strength and fight. After reading this book, I am looking forward to hearing other stories from women who have found their voice.

Was this review helpful?

This book is as captivating as it is shocking. Though it delivers a variety of emotions, it never fails to lose its message. This book brings awareness to the #MeToo movement in the non west and how it is to be a woman in Africa. It somewhat reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Good Girls. Which is about two 13 year old girls who did not survive their story. It definitely wasn’t a perfect book, but it was an important one. And I love to hear about the stories and daily life of women in other countries, and their relation to the women’s rights movement.

Was this review helpful?

A very interesting book,Toufah tells her story which is horrific in itself but all that happened afterwards shaped her life. I found it sad but informative. What a brave woman. Thanks to Netgalleyfor the free ARC book for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Toufah is a heart wrenching, empowering and thought provoking book. I started reading this book last evening and I just couldn't stop reading it. I had to read it all in one sitting, crying, smiling and recovering with Toufah. Residing in the African continent myself, I am always eager and excited to read about women from diverse countries around Africa. Toufah is a young girl full of dreams and ambitions like any other girl. She was residing in Gambia with her family when she hears about a beauty pageant organized by Yahya Jammeh, former president of Gambia. The winner of the pageant supposedly wins a scholarship to a university of her choice anywhere in the world. This is like a dream come true for Toufah and she ultimately wins the pageant. What she thinks of a stepping stone to success initially transforms into a nightmare where she is not only separated from her family and friends but has to seek refuge in another country to protect herself from any further harm. Though Yahya Jammeh presents himself to be an advocate for women's rights and tries to act as Toufah's mentor, the act of turning down his offer of marriage leads her on a path where she is drugged and raped. Luckily Toufah gains asylum in Canada. Her story and experience is one of courage, determination and survival. She is traumatized by the incident and endures fear, loneliness and pain to make a life for herself. Her decision to raise her voice and share her experience, including testifying before international organizations such as the Human Rights Commission and ICC, show her determination to raise awareness of rape and assault as well as ensure that women are able to gain knowledge and seek help, through her foundation the Toufah Foundation. The Gambian language has no word for rape and a lot of women who are raped are taught to remain silent. Toufah is a pioneer in raising awareness on the issue and inspiring women to fight for their rights. The world may tell women they have a right to this and that but at the same time the world presents numerous obstacles for the same women to be their true selves. This was a true story of courage, strength and fight. After reading this book, I am looking forward to hearing other stories from women who have found their voice. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for this book.

Was this review helpful?

The more I read, the more I liked the book Toufah. She opens with a chapter on the word “allegedly” which is mostly used only in cases of sexual violence, not other crimes. After being raped by her country’s president, Toufah exiled herself and left The Gambia. Stubborn, she kept the rape a secret. Stubbornness was both her strength and her weakness. Another word discussed is “rape.” That word does not exist in her native language in The Gambia! When Toufah did a computer search for Gambia, rape, survivor, she came across only numbers and data. No women’s stories. A computer search of rape in other countries gave faces, names and showed human beings. Toufah wanted her name used and told. No more secret keeping. I liked the story she told of the hyena and the rabbit. She also tells why she admired Oprah, another survivor of sexual assault. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers Steerforth Press for allowing me to read this book!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: