- The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March is #EachforEqual, how collectively, we can all work towards gender equality.
- These six books offer up different and unique aspects of women’s experiences, from working at the highest levels of US government to reframing feminism itself so it’s more inclusive.
International Women’s Day (8 March) is marching into its 110th year – and this year it falls on a Sunday.
So what more excuse do you need to cozy up in bed reading one of a new crop of books by and about women?
These ones have all been published – and praised – in the last six months and touch on this year’s theme: #EachforEqual, which is drawn from a notion of collective individualism.
Have you read?
If our individual actions and conversations can have an impact on our larger society, then collectively, we can each help to create a gender-equal world.
But we’ve still got a long way to go.
At the current rate of progress, it’s going to take another 99.5 years for the world to reach gender parity, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020. Or, put another way, not in your - or your children’s - lifetime.
The more positive female role models we have – like these women authors – and the more we share our thoughts and ideas about how to make the world more equal for everyone, the sooner we can close that gap.
1. Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
This coming-of-age memoir lifts the lid on sexism in Silicon Valley. Wiener quit her job in publishing in New York aged 25 and joined a data analytics startup in San Francisco. But only eight of the 60 employees were women and casual sexism was rife. Publisher HarperCollins says: “Slowly, she began to realize that her blind faith in ambitious, arrogant young men from America’s soft suburbs wasn’t just her own personal pathology. It had become a global affliction.”
2. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
While feminists fight for equality between genders, some women are more equal than others. In this collection of essays, which draws on her own experiences of hunger and violence, Kendall makes the case that white feminists often don’t take into account how race, class, sexual orientation and ability intersect with gender. She argues that, as some women climb up to break through the glass ceiling, they’re stepping on others.
3. Lift as you Climb: Women and the Art of Ambition by Viv Groskop
Published just in time for International Women’s Day, British journalist and comedian Viv Groskop’s book is a self-help guide that tackles the awkwardness of how to get ahead in life and work without leaving other women behind. It’s not a zero-sum game, she believes. You can be ambitious and make life better for yourself without making it worse for others.
What is the World Economic Forum's Book Club?
The World Economic Forum launched its official Book Club on Facebook in April 2018. Readers worldwide are invited to join and discuss a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction. It is a private Facebook group dedicated to discussing one book every month.
Each month, we announce a new book on our social media channels. We then publish an extract and begin a chapter-by-chapter discussion with group members. Selected comments and questions are sent to the author, who in return sends us a video response.
Unlike other book clubs, the group features the direct involvement of the authors, giving you - our global audience with members all around the globe - a chance to directly connect with some of the most influential thinkers and experts in the world.
We have featured authors such as Steven Pinker, Elif Shafak, Yuval Noah Harari, and Melinda Gates.
You can join the Book Club here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
Follow us on Instagram here.
4. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
When the world’s best known climate change activist spoke at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting in January, she warned leaders: "I’m here to tell you that, unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight. Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. We are still telling you to panic, and to act as if you loved your children above all else." This book is a collection of her speeches that have made history – and a call to action to all those who think they’re too insignificant to have any impact.
5. The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power
Samantha Power’s memoir was the World Economic Forum’s Book Club choice for February, but we’re going to include it again here because, like Greta’s speeches, it’s about the innate power of the individual to make a difference. If only we are determined enough. From her childhood in Dublin, Power became former US President Barack Obama’s human rights advisor and Ambassador to the UN - while raising two children. She believes each of us has the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity.
6. Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger, edited by Lilly Dancyger
Women are no longer expected to smile sweetly while simmering internally with rage – we’ve unleashed our angry voices through movements like #MeToo, and this collection of essays from 22 writers captures just how powerful anger can be. Publisher Seal Press describes it as “cathartic, essential reading for any woman who has scorched with rage – and is ready to claim her right to express it”.