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Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement

Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement

by Toufah Jallow, Kim Pittaway

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*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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586423018
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication date: 10/12/2021
Series: Eyewitness Memoirs
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 17 MB
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About the Author

TOUFAH JALLOW heads The Toufah Foundation in support of survivors of sexual assault in The Gambia. She has spoken before the United Nations as part of a young people's forum on human rights, presented at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and testified at The Gambia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She lives in Toronto, where she is studying to become a sexual assault victim advocate.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Allegedly                                                           3
Chapter 1: A dictator’s shadow                                         7
Chapter 2: “You could be president”                                 27
Chapter 3: “This will be my secret”                                   34
Chapter 4: “I have the girl right here”                                55
Chapter 5: An unscheduled stop                                        83
Chapter 6: The invisible woman                                        109
Chapter 7: A dictator falls                                                  143
Chapter 8: Homecoming                                                    154
Chapter 9: “I want to use my name”                                  164
Chapter 10: #IAmToufah                                                  186
Chapter 11: A country listens                                             211
Chapter 12: A life in two halves                                        234

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