• The Strength To Say No

An inspiring true-life story that will resonate among those who decry the oppression of women, Rekha Kalindi’s book has been a publishing sensation in France and is now published in English for the first time. Kalindi’s story and her advocacy of the rights of women and girls bears comparison with that of Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai.

In a remote village in Bengal, eleven-year-old Rekha and her large family live by rolling handmade cigarettes. She observes the abrupt departure of her friends who marry and go to live with their mothers-in-law, where they are often treated like slaves. In spite of her youth, Rekha is aware of the harm done to these little girls. When, in their turn, her parents find a husband for her, a man she doesn’t know, she flies into a blinding rage at the idea of being taken away from school for good. After persuading them not to marry her off against her will, Rekha goes from village to village to tell her story and to explain the tragic consequences of early marriages. Thanks to her, dozens of children in the region found the courage to say no to this tribal tradition. Her exemplary journey gained her the recognition of the highest courts in the land, and she went on to become a recipient of India’s National Bravery Award.

Written with the collaboration of Mouhssine Ennaimi, The Strength To Say No, translated from Ennaimi’s acclaimed French edition, is a documentary portrait of one girl’s monumental struggle and an inspiring story to young women all over the world.

Translated from the French by Sarah Lawson


REKHA KALINDI was born in a remote village in Bengal, the nearest large city being Calcutta, well over 100 miles away. Since her story was revealed, she has been all over India and had an audience with the President.

MOUHSSINE ENNAIMI is a distingushed correspondent for Radio France. His posting to South Asia led to a meeting with Rekha Kalindi and their collaboration on this book.

Bibliographic Data
Date Published 12th May 2015
ISBN Number 9780720617924
Pages 160

The Strength To Say No

  • £10.99


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Tags: Politics, religion, ethics, feminism, feminist literature, sub-continent, india, pakistan, Malala, reka, Rehka kalinidi, muhssine, Enaimi, Ennaimi, Mouhssine Ennaimi, sarah lawson, strength to say no, forced marriage,