About the book

In cultures all over the globe, sex and gender issues have been expressed in proverbs, the world’s smallest literary genre.

Proverbs present revealing insights into the female condition across centuries and continents. There are surprisingly more similarities than differences to be found in thousands of proverbs about women, originating from hundreds of languages and more than 150 countries. Those vivid and earthy proverbs reflect world-wide perspectives on women’s phases of life.

The book is a stunning and entertaining rough guide showing us how far both sexes have progressed on the road towards cosmopolitan citizenship in today’s world.

For this book the author received the Eureka Award. She has given talks and interviews in many countries about her book and research, addressing academics and students (from New York to Paris, from Cairo to Pretoria, from Beijing to Phnom Penh) or politicians such as the European Parliament in Brussels and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague; interested audiences in a mosque in Nairobi, a synagogue in Leiden, and in various churches; and rural women in various places (sometimes about a thousand of them).

Some reviews:

‘Fascinating. An engrossing book.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Schipper’s prose is light, fast-paced and witty, and her analysis of what lies behind the proverbs is completely gripping.’
Daily Telegraph

‘…a lively and sharply pointed book…. Feminist authors and teachers will be analyzing and gratefully quoting her material for at least a generation.’
National Post, Canada

‘…enthralling, amusing and alarming in equal measures.’
Conscience Magazine

‘An extremely interesting book. A fine contribution to the cosmopolitan conversation that ought to come about with globalization.’
Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton University