Our Bodies, Their Battlefields: War Through the Lives of Women

December 2, 2020
Our Bodies, Their Battlefields: War Through the Lives of Women

From Christina Lamb, the coauthor of the bestsellingI Am Malala and an award-winning journalist—an essential,groundbreaking examination of how women experiencewar.In Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, longtime intrepidwar correspondent Christina Lamb makes us witness to the lives ofwomen in wartime. An award-winning war correspondent fortwenty-five years (she's never had a female editor) Lamb reportstwo wars—the "bang-bang" war and the story of how the people behindthe lines live and survive. At the same time, since men usually actas the fighters, women are rarely interviewed about theirexperience of wartime, other than as grieving widows and mothers,though their experience is markedly different from that of the meninvolved in battle.Lamb chronicles extraordinary tragedy and challenges in thelives of women in wartime. And none is more devastating than theincrease of the use of rape as a weapon of war. Visiting warzonesincluding the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Bosnia, and Iraq, andspending time with the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, she records theharrowing stories of survivors, from Yazidi girls kept as sexslaves by ISIS fighters and the beekeeper risking his life torescue them; to the thousands of schoolgirls abducted acrossnorthern Nigeria by Boko Haram, to the Congolese gynecologist whostitches up more rape victims than anyone on earth. Told as ajourney, and structured by country, Our Bodies, TheirBattlefields gives these women voice.We have made significant progress in international women'srights, but across the world women are victimized by wartimeatrocities that are rarely recorded, much less punished. The firstever prosecution for war rape was in 1997 and there have beenremarkably few convictions since, as if rape doesn't matter in thereckoning of war, only killing. Some courageous women in countriesaround the world are taking things in their own hands, hunting downthe war criminals themselves, trying to trap them throughFacebook.In this profoundly important book, Christina Lamb shines a lighton some of the darkest parts of the human experience—so that wemight find a new way forward. Our Bodies, TheirBattlefields is as inspiring and empowering is as it isurgent, a clarion call for necessary change.