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March 09, 2020

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.

Image of a magazine held open by a white skinned hand. There is a visible quote reading 'In making space and creating a life in this rugged place, I found beacons of strength in visionary women who had done before me what I felt in my bones I wanted to do." Megan Wood

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.

Image of a white skinned hand holding a book called When they call you a terrorist. Alsi on the lap on the reader is a black cat.

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.

Image of two cross stitch kits on a table. One says 'femme as fuck', the other 'Fuck Your Gender Roles'

To be 100% clear, our definition of“women” includes all women and we find the co-opting of International Women’s day by transphobic hate groups to be abhorrent.

You can browse the books in their own collection, or keep an eye out on social media where we will be introducing a few of our favourites.


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