Our Bodies Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb
Review by Lesley Thomson
On the dramatic black and white front cover of this book are two women, and a quote by Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney – “A wake-up call … These women’s stories will make you weep and rage”.
I have always greatly admired Christina Lamb’s work, both as a journalist and as an author, not only for her superb writing, but for the fact that her research is hands-on and on-the-ground, not done from behind a desk.
Our Bodies, Their Battlefields was a hard book to read. I could only manage a little at a time. Despite thinking we know what goes on in wars and political terrorism around the world, when you read a book like this, you realise how very little you do know. And how little you know about so many incredibly brave men and women who overcome such horrors as rape and brutality, and the people who help them recover. This book also honours such acts of bravery and compassion.
Weapon of war
Christina Lamb goes to remote areas, including central Africa, South America, Bosnia, Iraq and Myanmar, to meet and spend time with people who have had such extraordinary challenges and tragedy, especially those being used as a weapon of war through rape. She records appalling stories of surviving as sex slaves, as well as those who risk their lives fleeing from horrific nightmares, and of those who help rescue these, mostly young, girls.
This is an incredibly important book, one that should go in the annals of history – and pray it helps towards ending the suffering of women, and men, in conflict, be they wars, domestic or culture.
Christina Lamb OBE is one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents. She has been named Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times in the British Press Awards and won numerous prestigious international awards, as well as having been nominated as one of the most inspirational women worldwide.
**ISBN 978 0 00 830001 2 – Published by William Collins/Jonathan Ball Publishers