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Standout reads to celebrate International Women's Day

It's International Women's Day so we're sharing our favourite books by inspiring female authors for people aged 16 and above.

Teenager with book

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We should all be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This powerful and personal book-length essay by the Nigerian author talks about the definition of feminism for the 21st century.

Taking Up Space: The Black Girl's Manifesto for Change, Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi

This book is a guide and a manifesto for change, tackling issues of access, unrepresentative curricula, discrimination in the classroom, the problems of activism, and life before and after university.

Becoming, Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, sharing the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the White House.

Women Don't Owe You Pretty, Florence Given

Follow Florence's story to learn how to protect your energy, discover that you're the love of your own life. Dubbed 'The Beauty Myth for the Instagram generation', Women Don't Owe You Pretty is the ultimate book for anyone who wants to challenge the out-dated narratives and stereotypes of male-dominated society.

Warning: contains explicit content (and a load of uncomfortable truths).

Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez

Discover the shocking gender bias that affects our everyday lives, as Caroline brings together for the first time case studies from government policy and medical research, technology, workplaces and the media. Invisible Women reveals how in a world built for and by men we are systematically ignoring half of the population, often with disastrous consequences.

Ladies Can't Climb Ladders, Jane Robinson

This is a book about live subjects and explores equal opportunity, the gender pay gap, and whether women can expect, or indeed deserve, to have it at all.

Ordinary People, Diana Evans

Ordinary People is an intimate study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and aging, and the fragility of love. With its distinctive prose and irresistible soundtrack, it is the story of our lives and those moments that threaten to unravel us. book deals with themes including love, sex, and grief.

The Little Book of Feminist Saints, Julia Pierpont, Manjit Thapp

A beautifully illustrated and enticing collection of biographical portraits of extraordinary women. The combination of Pierpont's pithy write-ups and Thapp's bold, expressive colour illustrations make this a truly engaging picture-book experience for adults.

IWD booklist

Not Without a Fight: 10 Steps to becoming your own champion by Ramla Ali

“No matter where you start off in life, hard work, dedication and an unwillingness to give up will always see you through to your target. I hope you can take as much out of this book as I did,” Anthony Joshua

Professional boxer, model and activist, Ramla Ali details ten key fights - a combination of life's constant challenges and real bouts she's endured both in and outside of the ring - that have shaped her remarkable rise to date.

From her arrival in England as a refugee to being drawn to the energy and spirit of her first boxercise class; from the adrenaline of her first amateur fights to how she often powered on alone, searching for a community of women like her, and her biggest win of all: letting love into her life.

Each relatable lesson is packed full of honesty and urgency, powering the reader on to become their own champion.

Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur.

Sophia takes you on an intimate journey through love, loss, faith, and self-discovery. She gives a voice to the experiences that connect people and encourages readers to look into themselves and explore the tendencies of the heart.

The poems draw on the author’s experience as a young mixed-race young woman trying to make sense of a lonely and complicated world. With a strong narrative voice and emotional empathy, this is poetry that will resonate with all young people, whatever their background, and whatever their dreams.

The poems draw on the author’s experience as a young mixed-race young woman trying to make sense of a lonely and complicated world. With a strong narrative voice and emotional empathy, this is poetry that will resonate with all young people, whatever their background, and whatever their dreams.

As she says, she hopes the poems will help readers "grow through what they go through".

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

Burnt Sugar is a love story between a mother and daughter. It kept you gripped until the very last sentence.

This book deals with themes including: love, sex, memory, grief and motherhood. It is appropriate for readers aged 16+.

IWD booklist

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

The Booker Prize winning novel follows the lives of 12 very different characters and their friends, family and lovers across the country.

Learn more about International Women's Day