Empowering women is to give women the right to express their views, educate them, to make them self-dependent and financially independent. We know that there always comes a moment in everyone's life when all they need is a spark of motivation.
As the battle for equality marches on, reacquaint yourself with some of the feminist texts and empowering stories that help to define what it means to be a woman today.
These inspirational books for women will give you all the motivation you need to get out there and start leading the life you want to live.
My Journey Into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman by Lisa Shannon recounts the odyssey from her successful, stable life as a businesswoman in the US into that of a global leader in the fight to end atrocities against Congolese women. Lisa shares her story of how she raised money to sponsor Congolese women beginning with one solo 30-mile run and then founded a national organization, Run for Congo Women. The book chronicles her journeys to the Congo, meeting the sponsored women and hearing their stories. Along the way, Lisa is forced to confront herself and learns lessons of survival, fear, gratitude, and love from the women of Africa. Vivid imagery and hauntingly rendered memories of Lisa’s experiences and encounters in Congo bring every page alive as she bears witness to the daily struggles of the country’s women and children: “Women have to feed their children. If that means the long daily walk to farm their fields and risking rape on the way, the alternative is watching their kids starve.” Sexual violence in Congo is used as a weapon of war.
Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn wrote this powerful book to bring attention to the oppression of women and girls in parts of Africa and Asia. We meet several of these individuals such as a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries while giving birth. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Half the Sky shows how just a little help can change their lives and how the key to economic progress is in empowering women to meet their full potential.
How Women are Transforming the Middle East by Isobel Coleman looks at women’s relationship with Islam and how that is empowering them. It presents the stories of women who are bringing change to the Middle East while working within the strictures of Islam, efforts that involve progressive interpretations of their faith to bridge conflicts between reformists and oppressors. Coleman reveals how activists are working within the tenets of Islam to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. Coleman argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition. In addition to the Middle East’s demographics, Coleman also discussed how women in these traditional societies face challenges in expanding their roles because women’s rights are often seen in a negative light.
This a novel written by an Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini deals with the plight of women in Afghanistan. The story revolves around the life of an illegitimate child Mariam who was married off when she was 15 years old. Despite the trauma of going to live with a stranger who insists that she must wear the burka and hide upstairs when visitors arrive, a tentative hopefulness begins to grow in Mariam that she may be able to win some affection from her husband, especially when she becomes pregnant. Hosseini vividly brings home what life is like for women in a society in which they are valued only for reproduction. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them. Mariam suffers from both: the stigma surrounding her birth and the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. This journey becomes important to share and marks itself as an inspiration to all women around the world.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, one of the most scrutinized writers known for her strong opinions on feminism and the female world. Her novel is considered to be an essential book of nineteenth-century literature. What makes her novel wonderful is how she creates a space for women and focuses on their lives, rather than the conventional, male-centric novels. Studied by many critics, today we cannot conquer an exact point on feminism from her novel. Many consider aspects of second-wave feminism in her novel, but one can never know for sure. However, that analysis is irrelevant. This novel makes complete sense and gives an empowered view of all womankind.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through the culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society but also one of our cultures. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at how the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.
This is an essay collection by the American writer Rebecca Solnit. The book originally contained seven essays, and according to its publisher, "has become a touchstone of the feminist movement." In the book, Rebecca explains what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.
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Educated is a memoir by the American author Tara Westover. In it, Westover recounts overcoming her survivalist Mormon family to go to college and emphasizes the importance of education to enlarge her world. She details her journey from her isolated life in the mountains of Idaho to complete a Ph.D. program in history at Cambridge University. School isn't a topic on most American's minds: you just go. But for her, who grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho, going to school was strictly discouraged by her paranoid father. So she taught herself, and at age 17 broke away from her family to attend Brigham Young University. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett addresses the subtle ways men behave to make women feel small. She also addresses classy and constructive ways to respond, while reassuring that you are not alone in these experiences. It is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women. It tackles both the external (sexist) and internal (self-sabotaging) behaviors that plague today’s women—as well as the system that perpetuates them.
Becoming follows the life of Michelle Obama and her upbringing on the south side of Chicago, to her time at Harvard University, and through her time as the First Lady of the United States of America. She speaks openly and honestly about the struggles and triumphs of her life not only as a woman but as a black woman doing things that have never been done before all the while facing adversity head-on and challenging the odds. She describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her terms.
The book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
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Contributor: Jyotsana Rani
Jyotsana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge.
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