10 Paradigm Shifting Books For International Women’s Day

Here are 10 books to help you unwind.

These books explore themes that impact women from all walks of life due to gender biases and patriarchal power structures. Have you just taken a giant leap, seeking new opportunities, or simply learning to understand some of the challenges women currently face?  We bet this list is a compilation you will love!

Inferior by Angela Saini, 2018

Synopsis: Saini takes readers on a journey to uncover science’s failure to understand women, finding that, we are still living with the legacy of an establishment that’s just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice.

Comments: This is an important book that I hope will be widely read. Any time biases are identified and corrected, it is science and policymaking rather than feminism or any particular ideology.

 

The Joy of saying no by Natalie Lue, 2023

Synopsis: Putting others ahead of ourselves to avoid something negative or to get something we want runs rampant in our society. 

The Joy of Saying No will help you identify your people-pleasing style through a six-step framework that teaches you how to discover the transformative power of no, to establish healthier boundaries, foster more fulfilling experiences and reconnect with your values and authentic self.

Comments: I am midway through this book now and can’t say enough good things. Natalie speaks to me when she describes people pleasing and has inspired me to start taking better care of myself.

Doing harm by Maya dusenbery, 2017

Synopsis: Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with experts within and outside the medical establishment, and personal stories from regular women to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today. In addition to offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its effects, she suggests concrete steps we can take to cure it.

Comments: The author has done an amazing job with her compelling research and presentation of the eye opening realities and obstacles women face obtaining medical services for difficult-to-diagnose or unexplainable health issues.

Invisible Women By Caroline Criado Perez, 2019

Sypnosis: From government policy and medical research to technology, workplaces, and the media, Caroline Criado Perez’s bestselling book exposes the surprising ways the gender data gap impacts our everyday experiences.  

Comments: Excellent, non-technically-written, somewhat shocking book covering so many areas affecting women’s lives. Set out clearly in sensibly-sized chapters so you don’t need to feel daunted at the potential
time-drain (my worry before it arrived!) It will make your jaw drop in surprise, and probably want to tell everyone some of the “worst” bits it covers too.

Untamed By Glennon Doyle, 2020

Synopsis: Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call for all women. 

It encourages women to uncover the voice of longing that is inside them. Untamed outlines how society tells us we are supposed to be good and to fit our gender roles. 

Comments: It’s the kind of book that stops you in your tracks and makes you evaluate life. She comes from a perspective of openness and compassion. So much value in these words.

Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi, 2017

Synopsis: Homegoing follows the parallel paths of sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.

Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed.

Comments: Thanks to Ms. Gyasi’s instinctive storytelling gifts, the book leaves the reader with a visceral understanding of both the savage realities of slavery and the emotional damage that is handed down.

Secrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza Reid, 2022

Synopsis: Eliza Reid examines her adopted homeland’s attitude toward women, the deep-seated cultural sense of fairness, the influence of current and historical role models, and the areas where Iceland still has room for improvement. 

Reid’s own experience as an immigrant is expertly interwoven with interviews with dozens of sprakkar (“extraordinary women”) to form the backbone of an illuminating discussion of what it means to move through the world as a woman.

Comments: This is a very readable book which takes on issues facing women with both humour and reality. Iceland may be a paragon, but its imperfections are also discussed.

We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2014

Synopsis: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shares personal anecdotes and experiences, as well as broader observations, to highlight the importance of feminism in today’s world. The book discusses issues such as gender roles, societal expectations, and the impact of sexism on both men and women.

Comments: The book I’d press into the hands of girls and boys, as an inspiration for a future world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves.

Unstoppable Women By Griselda Togobo, 2022

Synopsis: Unstoppable Women by Griselda Togobo is an intellectual must-read. This book features twenty-six female entrepreneurs who reveal tips for starting up, scaling, and exiting their businesses. A must-have guide filled with business, personal, and well-being information for aspiring entrepreneurs, established entrepreneurs, and anyone looking for inspiration for their next venture!

Comments: Captures how to start your dream business, build and lead your dream team, cope with failure, the mindset of successful entrepreneurs, and many more tips and insights on how to grow your business.

Girl, Woman, Other By Bernadine Evaristo, 2019

Synopsis: Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

Comments: Not just one of my favorite books of this year, but one of the most insightful books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. In this inspired piece of writing, Evaristo examines the realities and complexities of womanhood in the UK.

Equality for women has been a subject of intense controversy over the years, mainly due to entrenched viewpoints and limited understanding of the underlying realities. To truly grasp the essence of feminism and appreciate its significance, individuals must open their minds to the ‘why’ behind it, which will ultimately foster more significant progress in advancing female interests. Explore this reading list and be a force for female good.

Happy reading, and enjoy your much-deserved vacation!

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