Purple Dandelion' is the true story of Farida Sultana, an extraordinary Muslim woman and single mother. The book is a reflection of her personal journey as an unconventional child who struggled through her adulthood and married life. Being a survivor of violence and abuse, Farida emerged as a strong advocate against all forms of violence and cultural and religious oppression against women. The book chronicles her remarkable life. It begins in Bangladesh when as a young girl, she found herself in conflict with her traditional family values and the Islamic culture that prevents girls and women from learning music and arts. Later her arranged marriage to a doctor at the age of 18 took her to war-torn Iran with her husband and young daughter, then to the UK and finally to New Zealand. At each stage of the journey, she attempts to capture the nuances, sights and sounds of the events that she became a part of as she continued on her quest to find herself - in Bangladesh during its freedom struggle, in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, in England as a single mother and a survivor of domestic violence, and in New Zealand as an immigrant woman. In New Zealand she set up the first ethnic women's refuge in the country. 'Purple Dandelion' brings to life the experiences and struggles of some of the courageous women part of that organisation. "A remarkable story about ... determination ... an incredibly powerful dissertatino on religion and women's rights." - Nelson Mail
Farida Sultana has been working in the area of violence against women for over 17 years. She first became associated with Shakti AID UK as a survivor of violence and then as a volunteer. In 1995 she started Shakti in New Zealand. Farida is an advocate for various migrant and refugee issues, works closely with the wider communities and also serves on various boards in New Zealand. She has one adult daughter.
Helen Clark is the former New Zealand Prime Minister, now Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.