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Sohaila Abdulali

Isabella Phillips
Sydney Opera House

This piece contains mentions of sexual violence. 

Sohaila Abdulali is the woman changing the way we talk about rape. In 1980, when she was 17 years old, Sohaila was gang raped in Bombay when going on a walk with a friend. Three years after the attack she wrote an article for Indian women’s magazine Manushi titled “I fought for my life… and won.”

30 years on, her article went viral, being shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter as a response to the rape and murder in Delhi that galvanised India into protest. Sohaila’s new book What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape addresses the issues of rape on many levels, from international policy to bedroom dynamics.

At All About Women this year Sohaila will talk about her personal experience, her research and her professional experience at Boston’s rape crisis centre. Hear this self proclaimed “brown bisexual middle-aged atheist Muslim survivor immigrant writer without a Shame Gene” discuss why it’s important to have conversations about rape and why how we have these conversations matter. 

Sohaila will be speaking in the Utzon Room for her solo talk 'When we talk about rape' and in the Concert Hall as part of the 'Me Too: Year Two' panel.

I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t

NY Times Op Ed

Sohaila writes for The New York Times in response to the rape and murder in Delhi in 2013. A lot has changed in the 30 years since her attack. When she was 17 she never imagined that people would be marching in protest against rape in India. Our responses have come a long way but there is still much to be done. 

After I wrote about my rape, again

The Guardian 

Sohaila’s article published in 1983, “I fought for my life… and won” went viral in 2013. She discusses how “befuddling” it feels to be recognised in sandwich shops and why it matters for her to be recognised for her work and not an attack that happened decades ago.  

Sohaila Abdulali’s ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape’ takes a global view of the #MeToo movement


Online outlet Bustle argues why Sohaila’s work is pertinent in our current #MeToo climate and why representation of the trans community and conversations on gender fluidity are needed in discourse on sexual violence to break down barriers and stereotypes. 

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