Each month, as a team, we choose a theme to focus on while picking a selection of books to bring to your attention. With International Women’s Day taking place this month, it seemed time to celebrate books produced by women or about women. We have a particular fondness for women being given the space in which to truly shine, perhaps interviewed by a peer, photographed by a fellow woman of colour or in someway supported so that the depth and power of their voice can truly be expressed.
“The emerging global consensus is that despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. Women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices; and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces. Furthermore, there is a significant threat of rollback of hard-won feminist gains.” - UNWomen.org, 2020
The 2020 theme for International Women’s Day focuses on gender equality and UN Women has chosen to specifically focus on generational equality to explore the way in which equality has been fought and still needs to be addressed. As we look forward at work still be done, the question of what lessons can be drawn from those who have advocated and fought before us seems more and more important. Without the reflections of our elders, our actions will risk repeating and perpetuating the same issues.
So for this next theme, we have drawn together a selection of books that explore particular themes of rest, self care, finding our voice and finding purpose. We’ve included children's books and magazines, memoirs, and essay collections. You’ll notice some similar themes that found their way into our cross stitch selections too. If we are faced with the sense of a significant threat, how we prepare and care for ourselves and one another seems as vital in importance as the actions we must take that are often, more visible. As evidenced in Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ memoir, “When They Call You A Terrorist”, there are visible and powerful acts in every fight but these often sit within a support network and crucial self care that activists often need or risk complete burnout.