However Long the Night

However Long the Night : Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph

4.17 (945 ratings by Goodreads)
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The story of how one of the "most powerful women in women's rights" (Forbes)is paving the way to a world with human dignity for all. However Long the Night is the extraordinary story of one woman's determination to create a movement toward change, and a better future, for millions of girls and women across Africa. Molly Melching grew up in the Midwest but was called to explore the world outside her hometown when she arrived in Senegal in 1974. There, she quickly grew invested in the fate of the Senegalese women she met. Based on her experiences living in a remote African village, she founded Tostan, an organization dedicated to empowering African communities by using democracy and human-rights-based education to promote relationships built upon dignity, equality, and respect. She forever changed her life and the lives of those touched by Tostan.Unlike many Western organizations that have tried to transform various African cultures from the outside, Melching, who was named as one of the "150 women who shake the world" by Newsweek and Daily Beast, understands that true change comes only from within. Tostan's groundbreaking strategies have led to better education for the women of rural Africa, improved health care, a decrease in child/forced marriage, and declarations by thousands of African communities to abandon the centuries-old practice of female genital cutting. However Long the Night brings together Melching's riveting personal journey with the stories of the Senegalese women and men who found the courage to lead this movement. This book is a testament to the fact that the connections between women can lead to a better world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 153 x 230 x 25mm | 465g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, color; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062132768
  • 9780062132765
  • 1,215,363

Review quote

" There is no way to overestimate the gift that Tostan and its leader, Molly Melching, have given to the world. The amount of suffering they have alleviated is beyond anything we can gauge. What a story, what a power, and what a blessing."--Marianne Williamson, "New York Times" bestselling author
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Rating details

945 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 45% (421)
4 36% (339)
3 14% (130)
2 4% (37)
1 2% (18)

Our customer reviews

Wow, this book was such an inspirational read! There were moments when I was in tears and others when I wanted to whoop for joy. It is a book that every person, but especially women, can appreciate because it is the amazing story of Molly Melching, a fearless woman, known as one of the "most powerful women in women's rights". Through education and respect, she led African women to stand up for their rights and helped them celebrate their freedom. However Long the Night reads like a novel. It is the story of Molly, an American university student who went to Senegal in 1974 and decided to stay, loving the people of that land, their culture and their warmth. Feeling at home in a country so unlike her own, Molly saw the needs of the people. With the help of several Senegalese scholars, she opened a children's center, "where she used elements of traditional African culture to reach out-of-school children in their native Wolof language." After experiencing life in remote African villages, Molly founded Tostan, an organization that promoted learning through education based on human rights, where villagers learned to read and write, and how to take care of themselves and their families through proper health care. This is where the topic of female genital cutting came up, a topic known as "the tradition" and never discussed, seen as a loving act to prepare a daughter for marriage. By empowering women through discussion and human rights education, Molly helped revolutionize how Africans viewed their traditions without ever judging or criticizing. Her organization succeeded where many others failed. What touched me the most is how she involved the religious leaders and the village chiefs, the men, to understand the dangers of female genital cutting. Molly understood and saw the African wisdom beneath the uneducated. She trained all her staff to respect the African way so that through dignity, perseverance and patience, the African women took a stand and made the changes that would help all their future generations to triumph. This is an important story because we can all learn from how Molly helped bring about change. This selfless woman dedicated her life to achieve what may have seemed impossible. I was inspired, uplifted and greatly touched by, not just her story, but that of all the African women and men who played a part in shaking their world for the better. A remarkable and unforgettable book-one of the best books I've read this year. Highly more
by Laura Campobassi
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