Commemorate Women Rights this year with these old classics and new inspirational books

For International Women’s Day 2019, let’s revisit the revolutionary books that gave women the rights they have today and some new books that continue to advocate for equality everywhere.

Revolutionary Classics:

  • A Vindication of the Rights of Women – Mary Wollstonecraft

Published in 1792, before feminism was even a discourse for revolution, this book advocated for women’s rights in education and the need for equality amongst both sexes. As one of the earliest known feminist philosophers, Mary Wollstonecraft argues that women were inferior to men because of their lack of education. This issue is still present in some countries today, despite it having been centuries since it was first published. In 2019, we need to use the wisdom left behind for us to continue the advocacy for women’s rights everywhere.

  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

One of Virginia Woolf’s most powerful feminist texts that justifies the right for women to possess intellectual liberty and financial independence. In a literary world dominated by men, Woolf argued for both literal and figurative space for women writers to exercise their intelligence and creative freedom.

  • The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” is one of the famous quotations from this ground-breaking feminist text. First published in 1949, it was received with both success and outrage as she changed the course of feminist thinking by examining the deeply ingrained gendered beliefs imposed by society.

Contemporary inspirations:

  • Seeing Like a Feminist – Nivedita Menon

Through the lens of a feminist and a revolutionary, this book looks at the challenges feminism faces in India. Focusing on various issues in the Hindu culture, Nivedita Menon emphasises the failure of the laws that were implemented to emancipate women. A politically engaging book which gives readers an insight in the history of feminism in India.

  • I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

An outstanding autobiography of a young female advocate who was shot by the Taliban that was trying to silence her voice. This is the story about how she never gave up her rights to education in Pakistan and how the miraculous recovery brought her to the global stage, advocating for girls’ education in the United Nations at the age of sixteen.

  • We Should All Be Feminist - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The book offers a unique definition of the word ‘feminism’ for the 21st century feminist and argues the need to advocate for inclusion and awareness. The author dives into the world of sexual politics and tells the readers what is needed in order to be a modern-day feminist and why everyone should be a feminist.