By Amanda Moses
Throughout history women have broken through gender barriers and made insurmountable contributions to society—that is why in 1987 Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month. However, women still make 80 cents for every dollar men earn (according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research,) are continually stigmatized as sexual objects and are treated like inferiorities in many developing countries.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Spring Creek Sun has created a list of thought-provoking books on female empowerment and equality:
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn— A national bestseller written by two Pulitzer Prize journalists, Half the Sky is a progressive collection of stories about women and girls facing oppression in developing countries. From Africa to Asia, these essays discuss true accounts of teenagers sold into sex slavery, child marriage, female mutilation, rape and other atrocious crimes. Kristof and WuDunn shine light on both the injustices females in developing countries face and what some of these women are doing to combat it.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem— A renowned activist, writer and feminist, Gloria Steinem shares a candid account of her various travels around the world fighting for women’s rights. This autobiography shows Steinem’s growth from her work as a journalist in the 1960s, her experience during the 1977 National Women’s Conference and decades documenting her social activism.
The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker— Barbara Walker created an encyclopedia that uncovers female myths and superstitions created over thousands of years, documenting the historic distortion of matriarchal religion by the patriarchy and makes sense of many of the seemingly senseless customs and rationalizations of creeds and beliefs of our major religions and our folkloric traditions.
Zoli by Colum McCann—Zoli is a novel that spans the 20th century and travels the scope of Europe. It is a tale of love, loss and the overall examination of intimacy and betrayal in a community. Based loosely on the true story of Romani poet Papsuza, this story focuses on a young woman named Zoli, raised in the traveling Gypsy tradition during the 1930s in Czechoslovakia. Zoli’s love for books spurs her dream to write poetry. Her work is embraced by the Gypsy people and savored by a young English expatriate, but she finds that she cannot fall halfway–neither in love nor in politics.
Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe— The female body can sometimes be an enigma even to women themselves, from menstrual cycles, sexual awakenings to menopause. Award-winning comedian Sara Pascoe pens a funny and illuminating tour of the female body, providing insight into the forces that mold and affect modern women.