It’s International Women’s Day, a day when we celebrate women – past and present – and their achievements. It’s not just a day about recognising and celebrating achievements, though. It’s also about the women who are fighting a daily battle for equality. Here in the UK, we live in a patriarchal society. In September 2020, it was reported that men earn, on average, 10% more than women in nine out of 17 sectors in the economy. Additionally, women often encounter the ‘glass ceiling‘ when it comes to advancing into senior positions at work. This can come about for a variety of reasons, from being perceived as less committed to work due to family commitments (aka. the motherhood penalty) to sexual harassment. Outside of the workplace, a disturbingly high number of women are victims of gender-based violence, a term meaning violence “that results from power inequalities that are based on gender roles.” 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 raped per year, and it’s estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
And this is just in the UK. Around the world, women are killed, discriminated against and abused on a daily basis simply because they are women. Adult women account for nearly half of global human trafficking victims (49%) and it’s estimated that as many as 38% of murdered women are killed by a male intimate partner. These are but two examples of the heinous acts perpetrated against women every single day.
So while we celebrate women and all the wonderful, amazing things that they have done and continue to do, let’s remember that the fight for gender equality is far from over.
In recognition of International Women’s Day 2021, I’ve compiled a list of my top eight favourite books about women. Let’s get into it, shall we?
It’s Not About The Burqa, edited by Mariam Khan
Monster, She Wrote, Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, Cho Nam-Joo
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, Grady Hendrix
Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata
The Five, Hallie Rubenhold
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Balli Kaur Jaswal
Circe, Madeline Miller
What are your favourite books about women? Let me know in the comments!