Praise for 50 Women

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Praise for 50 Women, Book One

“As you read these stories of women from across the globe in 50 Women, Book One, you come to understand how much in common we share in our lives. It’s why we believe that sisterhood is global.”

Katherine Spillar, executive editor, Ms. Magazine and executive vice president, Feminist Majority Foundation

“As Americans, we hear and see news stories of famine, poverty and human suffering in third-world countries around the globe. As a result, we often turn a blind eye to these injustices, whether it be intentional or because of ignorance. Through the personal, first-person stories that fill its pages, 50 Women, Book One effectively helps us lift lids of misunderstanding and denial by offering an authentic look at the struggles of women we’d otherwise never know.”

Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, editor in chief/CEO, Shades Magazine – Celebrating All Women of Color

50 Women, Book One contains stories of courage, self-determination, and power to survive the difficult experiences of poverty, abuse, hunger, and grief. I am in awe of each woman’s dignity and resourcefulness to find ways to better not only their own lives, but also the lives of hundreds of others. In witnessing their truths, we readers can offer our support, compassion, and love to heal their wounds. As I work to serve women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness, I will strive harder to serve with a heart like these fifty warriors of light.”

Deborah Santana, CEO and founder, Do A Little

“50 Women is a pivotal and impact-ridden anthology for all of us. I could not stop reading this book. The stories are candid, real and measurable. I learned from each woman how a personal experience of violence can allow her to triumph toward a life lived with grace, genuineness, and dignity. 50 Women is necessary reading with journalism that brings us to the core of human rights.”

Lys Anzia, founder and editorial advisor, Women News Network

“The strength of this project is summed up in the words of one of the participants: ‘There is nothing that can’t be accomplished if we raise our voices as one.’ These stories are a testament to the strength and resilience of women and a call to action on some of the most important human rights issues of our time.”

– Global Fund for Women

“For too long women’s stories have gone untold and their voices hidden. 50 Women, Book One embraces the heroic journey of everyday women around the world and emphasizes the worth and wisdom all women hold. If you ever doubted your personal influence or ability to create a new dream, read 50 Women. Everything is possible.”

Elisa Parker, co-founder, CEO, host, See Jane Do

“I have been working in the women’s rights arena for decades as president and CEO of Women’s Intercultural Network. As a United Nations consultative NGO, we strive to elevate the voices of women and girls to ensure they are heard and represented in their commu- nities, governments and economies. 50 Women, Book One is truly a remarkable anthology as it is shockingly authentic and a vital tool to ensure the lives and strengths of women are documented. We cannot properly advocate for our global sisters until we understand and relate to their tribulations and triumphs. Bravo! Very well done!”

Marilyn Fowler, president and CEO, Women’s Intercultural Network

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“In the world of quick and simplified Facebook and Twitter postings, 50 Women, Book One is a refreshing, honest and in-depth look at the important lives of women around the world. Despite our supposed increase in connectivity, it is still so difficult to know the true history of women. By using individual stories, this book expands your mind and your heart, while also giving you a vital understanding of the overall issues women are facing around the world. Everyone who cares about women should read this book.”

Christine Bronstein, founder, A Band of Women

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“This book connects us to our sisters around the world as we receive the honor of not just witnessing their stories, but also having their stories change our own. What may have simply been headlines of war to us was their reality. What they endured moves me, haunts me, and inspires me. All too often, history has been written from the male perspective and this book ensures that women’s voices are heard. 50 Women, Book One weaves together a beautiful tapestry of women’s stories, many who faced the worst that life has to offer, and yet they each emerged with wisdom that benefits us all.”

Shasta Nelson, CEO of and author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends


Praise for 50 Women, Book Two

“Inspiring tales of women who’ve surmounted incredible odds.”

Julia Scheeres, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Land: A Memoir and A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

“While no one woman or one story will represent an entire experience, each woman’s story is an important piece of our shared experi- ence. This project seeks to add often-unheard nuance to our shared experience, and to uplift each woman and her story, and all of us, in the process.”

Araceli Campos, president, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women

“We live in a world where the voices of women are largely absent from the media, especially first-person accounts of the most trying issues of our time. We still have not fully achieved equal representation in film and television or even equal pay in media professions. Media is the single most powerful tool at our disposal to educate, effect social change, and determine the politics and information shaping our lives. The women of 50 Women, Book Two show us that our voices must be heard and not left to drown in the background noise. Their courage, grace, and determination reverberate through us all.”

Julie Burton, president, Women’s Media Center    

50 Women, Book Two is a treasure trove of women’s voices as they reflect on lives of struggle, suffering, spirituality, and survival. As in 50 Women, Book One, far-flung women share astonishing first-person accounts of love and betrayal, brutal violence and escape, childbirth and abortion, catastrophic illness and healing, cults and kidnappings, migration and making it home. Read this book to learn the wisdom women from across the globe have gleaned from their ordeals.”

Amy Agigian, director, Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights, Suffolk University       

“History has hushed the voices of women. Here, those voices roar into nourishing stories that benefit us all.”

Cameron Conaway, 2015 fellow, International Reporting Project (Thailand), 2015 grantee, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (India), author of Malaria, Poems, and former executive editor of The Good Men Project

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50 Women, Book One was so compelling and important in helping us begin to understand the lives of so many women all over the world from the Middle East, Africa, and other regions. With the publication of 50 Women, Book Two, Jessica Buchleitner continues to provide fascinating and intimate portraits of individual women’s lives, including their barriers and successes. The storytelling is not only very insightful and rich, it also provides critically important commentary about the diverse lives, cultures, and statuses of women from the Americas and Europe. I applaud Jessica’s work on 50 Women, Book One and 50 Women, Book Two and have shared Book One with young women and girls who will become future leaders in the world. I am happy there is a Book Two and that these stories continue to move and inspire.”

Liz Abzug, professor, Barnard College, Columbia University and founder/CEO, Bella Abzug Leadership Institute

50 Women, Book Two makes clear that there is no doubt about the strength of women of all ages. All of us will be inspired by these accounts and be assured we should seize the moment as well as the years and decades on the horizon to hit the ground running.”

Rita Henley Jensen, founder and editor in chief, Women’s eNews

“This book gives voice to the complex and deeply moving experiences of a range of women. Across countries, cultures, and classes, the stories in this volume offer gut-wrenching insights into the often vicious politics of gender in contemporary societies. Yet, they also offer a vision of courage and compassion. 50 Women, Book Two is, ultimately, about the strength it takes to be a survivor.”

Meenakshi Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect and professor, University of Iowa

“These writings take you to the battlefields that women face each day because of discrimination and the constant mutilation of their rights and dignity. After reading these stories no one could say this isn’t happening. Everyone needs to acknowledge there is a lot more to do. Men and women need to stand against violence in any form. Peace will come faster if each person stands up for what is right. Silence is not an option anymore. Let’s fight with activism by calling out injustices everywhere.”

Ada Alvarez, founder and president of Stop the Silence Foundation and director of Women Committee in the Senate of Puerto Rico

50 Women, Book Two is a powerful example of pro-voice—support- ing women as they tell their own story in their own words. Let’s listen closely, with open minds, and promise to give our support and respect.”

Aspen Baker, founder/executive director of Exhale and author of Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight

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50 Women, Book Two brings forth powerful stories of how and why it is imperative that women tell their stories. Through this work, women in our global community unite in a common goal of shared compassion, storytelling, and ownership of their own dreams, des- tinies, and fates. There is nothing more important than the ability to have your own voice and tell your own story.”

Dr. Raye Mitchell, CEO/chief enthusiast for Women & Girls and founder,

50 Women, Book Two is a compelling collection of life stories honor- ing the unique struggles and triumphs that make up each woman’s life. The power of honoring each life as a part of a collection of life stories is that it also serves to normalize and de-exceptionalize the suffering and struggles that come into life through trauma, economic hardship, disease, and war. Buchleitner’s collection of stories softens the heart, opens the mind to reveal the systematic hardships facing women, and provides encouragement to the reader about the resil- ience of the human spirit.”

Cecilia Lipp, executive director, International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law

“The 50 Women anthology series is a fascinating read! Documenting women’s stories from around the world, this book provides insight into the challenges women face across cultures, and also inspires us with stories demonstrating women’s strength, courage, and fortitude in their struggles to overcome harrowing obstacles. How wonderful to hear the voices of so many powerful women.”

Diane Tober, PhD, medical anthropologist

“It is crucial that we give underrepresented women a platform to tell their stories. The 50 Women anthology series ensures that their histories are preserved and their legacies inspire future generations.”

Amy Aquilino, distribution manager, Women Make Movies

“The 50 Women anthology series is an inspiring, insightful, and empow- ering read. The compelling narratives in this collection are woven together with words that capture hearts and minds. This book is filled with many role models from different countries, and for me, it sparks reflection about my own life experiences and places my own struggles in the global context of women’s lives. This power- ful anthology helps us to envision socially positive changes from a paradigm of love.”

Elahe Amani, women’s human rights and gender equality advocate, university lecturer, journalist, and chair of Global Circle for Women’s Intercultural Network

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50 Women, Book One begged for 50 Women, Book Two. Rarely does a series extend storytelling power to so many women at home and abroad. Their voices walk us up a ladder each narrative climbs. I dare men to read, if only every woman’s last paragraph of advice. Together we hunger for a 50 Women, Book Three.”

Bronwyn Kay Galloway, JD/MA, United Nations Association San Francisco Women’s Committee

“These are the stories of fifty brave women who have seen it all, from the horrors of war, poverty, and domestic violence to the challenges of giving life and surviving against all odds. Jessica Buchleitner delivers these testimonies in a compelling and engaging narrative. Through this recollection, you can’t help but to feel inspired and humbled, for all the hardships in the world are nothing compared to the strength of a woman who believes in herself.”

Cynthia Arvide, freelance journalist, Mexico

“If we do not know that there are captives, how can they be set free? Jennifer’s story is a timely and important alert that physical and psy- chological torture of our youth takes place under the guise of therapy in so-called troubled teen programs across the world. Telling stories like hers is neither easy nor comfortable, but she does so with grace, vulnerability, and conviction that hers is a story that must be heard.”

Kate Logan, director and producer of Kidnapped for Christ

50 Women, Book Two is a must-read! The courage and passion shared by these women grabs you and shakes you. Mona’s story is especially important as Lyme disease is an epidemic around the world and impacts the health of millions. As Mona’s account shows, it can take years to get a diagnosis, then to get the treatment to heal and recover in addition to find resources too many do not have to succeed. Awareness is key to getting help as Lyme is the great imitator. Be like Mona and all the women of 50 Women, Book Two and never give up!”

Mara Williams, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, author of Nature’s Dirty Needle: What You Need to Know About Chronic Lyme Disease and How to Get the Help To Feel Better and director of Inanna House Treatment Center