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Filzah Sumartono and Margaret Thomas

Growing Up Perempuan

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Edited by Filzah Sumartono and Margaret Thomas

A collection of stories about being a Muslim woman in Singapore, written by women for women.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 276


Growing up as a woman is hard.
Growing up as a woman in the Muslim community is harder.

In a world still filled with superstitions, if you die during childbirth you become a vampiric ghost and if you survive you might get attacked by a flying ghost. You collect experiences in the workplace that should be office satire but aren’t. You face constant judgement, try to live up to endless expectations, and somehow…still fall short.

Growing Up Perempuan is a collection of stories written by women, for women. This book offers stories of love and loss, strength and endurance, confidence and couragestories that inspire and empower. This is a book about challenging the status quo and learning to chart our own paths instead of having the world define them for us.

From the editors about this publication
This book is part of a project called “Gender Equality Is Our Culture” by Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE). In 2016, we published Perempuan: Muslim Women in Singapore Speak Out, an anthology of essays and poems. We had no plans to publish a second book but the overwhelming interest and support for Perempuan made us think again.

At a gathering with the contributors to Perempuan, we discussed ideas for a second book. A theme that emerged was the societal expectations and pressure to conform to narrow and restrictive stereotypes of what it means to be a Muslim woman, and how these have kept many from being able to embrace their true selves and reach their fullest potential. So here is Growing Up Perempuan, a book in which the writers talk freely about the intricacies, contradictions, and duality of growing up as a woman in the Muslim community. You will get a glimpse of the internal struggles these women face in their lives and how they have found (or not found) ways to reconcile the demands of their community and the pressures of the modern world.

Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) is Singapore’s leading advocacy group dedicated to promoting gender equality. Since its inception in 1985, AWARE has brought women’s perspectives to national issues and has focused on public education, research and advocacy. AWARE provides valuable support services to women in the community including a crisis helpline, legal advice, counselling and assistance in dealing with hospitals, police and the courts. AWARE is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation and is funded solely by donations, grants, and members’ subscriptions.

Read if you: grew up being told to "sit like a girl".