Book Reviews

Hague Girls, Part One: Fleeing by Ewurabena

Hague Girls is a book about courage and perseverance. It contains all the ingredients of a thriller: the intrigue, the machinations and manipulations of the media and government, the interplay of family and societal relations and the persistent struggle of one woman to challenge all of these factors.

            But Hague Girls is a true story and not a work of fiction. This makes it inspiring, but also sobering.

            It is the story of Ewurabena, a human rights lawyer and activist, and founder of African Perspectives, living and working in her homeland Ghana. It recounts the relentless attacks by the media and government to smear her reputation and destroy her organization, and its attempts to stop her fight for truth and the rule of law.

            It is a story about fighting back… but not alone. Fighting back by organizing one’s family, friends, community, professional colleagues, contacts – at home and abroad – in the struggle. 

            The reader is painfully aware that this is one story among the myriad accounts and struggles – in every country – about how the forces of power and privilege try to control the daily lives of people and then ruthlessly suppress peoples’ intense struggles for equality and human rights.   

            The book analyses how white privilege is replicated across national boundaries: the author chronicles the “Amy Cooper moments” in her own life, and the state-sanctioned police murders of black people, remembering George Floyd, Semira Adamu and others, and victims and survivors of apartheid regimes. She describes the still continuing struggle for gender equality, especially in international organizations which make “paper claims” to equality. She recounts the discrimination and racism of foreigners towards the people in whose sovereign country they are guests. 

            The “take away” from this book is that the struggles initiated by one heroic Ghanian woman for her human rights can challenge the very foundations of the institutions and structures in her life. It is a struggle to hold government and the media responsible and accountable for their actions. It is a struggle for the core human values of truth and justice – which transcends cultural and geographical boundaries.

            Hague Girls is a book which should be read, and then re-read, by anyone who is part of the struggle for equality and human rights.

Beth S. Lyons

International Criminal Defence and Human Rights Lawyer

Screen Shot 2021-07-08 at 16.57.24.png
%d bloggers like this: