Sohaila Abdulali at Sydney Opera House


From international policy to the nuance of consent, survivor, writer and former coordinator of a rape crisis centre, Sohaila Abdulali finds ways to talk about the difficult question of rape.

Sohaila, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape (Myriad, 2018), will be talking at Sydney Opera House during the All About Women, a celebration festival full of discussions and events.

Sohaila Abdulali was the first Indian rape survivor to speak out about her experience. Gang-raped as a teenager in Mumbai and indignant at the deafening silence on the issue in India, she wrote an article for a women’s magazine questioning how we perceive rape and rape victims. Thirty years later she saw the story go viral in the wake of the fatal 2012 Delhi rape and the global outcry that followed.

Drawing on three decades of grappling with the issue personally and professionally, and on her work with hundreds of other survivors, she explores what we think about rape and what we say.

‘Unflinching and nuanced… Her structure is disruptive and powerful for it—never letting us forget that there is a person who suffers, a body that gets broken. And, when a body is violated, all of society is at risk. This book could not be more timely, nor could there be a better thinker—herself a survivor—to write it. If the #MeToo campaign is to have any lasting impact for change in women’s circumstances across the world, it will be because of books such as this’ —Preti Taneja

Sohaila will be talking about her latest publication at 10.30 am (tickets here), then in discussion with Emily Steel and Tina Tchen for a talk at 1.30 pm  titled ‘Me Too: Year Two’ (tickets here).