Review: Of Women: In the 21st Century by Shami Chakrabarti

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Publisher: Allen Lane

Published: October 2017


Pages: 229



A powerful, urgent and timely polemic on why women still need equality, and how we get there.

Gender injustice is the greatest human rights abuse on the planet. It blights First and developing worlds; rich and poor women. Gender injustice impacts health, wealth, education, representation, opportunity and security everywhere. It is no exaggeration to describe the position of women as an apartheid, but it is not limited to one country or historical period. For this ancient and continuing wrong is millennial in duration and global in reach. Only radical solutions can even scratch its surface. However, the prize is a great one: the collateral benefits to peace, prosperity, sustainability and general human happiness are potentially enormous. All this because we are all interconnected and all men are of women too.

My Thoughts…


Overall, I was slightly disappointed with this book. My expectations for this were probably too high to begin with, and I do recognise that it is utterly impossible to attempt to fix all that is wrong in the world in less than 250 pages. Still, reading this book felt more like reviewing before an exam: featuring a great amount of information I already knew, it refreshed my memory but gave me very few new elements of reflection. 

The book itself is structured very clearly, concentrating on major areas of social life to evaluate women’s role and the issues that gender injustice helps perpetuate, or indeed generate in the first place. The focus is on different societies, spanning the whole world, and considers also historical evolutions.

While this is an undeniably well written, comprehensive account of gender policies around the world, I found myself wanting more. This read would probably be well-suited as an introduction to gender inequalities and feminism, but as someone who has already read up quite a lot on the subject, I found nothing noteworthy here. Not a bad book, but not one for me.

Rating: 3/5


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