I think every day is a day to celebrate women and the fantastic work they do in every sphere of life. Nevertheless, the month of March is special because it heralds the oncoming of the summer and is celebrated as Women’s Empowerment Month. In honour of this, here’s a list of books on women by women for your reading pleasure! From memoirs to reportage and research, these titles shed a spotlight on the complexities of women’s experiences.
Savitribai Phule and I, Sangeeta Mulay:
This short novella for young adults tells the story of Shabri, a shy Dalit girl from an impoverished village. She comes across a diary written by Sa
vitribai Phule. The lessons from the diary transform the shy introvert who has faced discrimination and prejudice throughout her life into a confident feminist and activist.
Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez:
Based on exhaustive research, Caroline Perez addresses data bias in her book. She demonstrates how the “men as default” thinking has allowed it to sink into everything from car crash safety tests to the size of smartphones. Thus, women have to overcome disadvantages manufactured into the functioning of the world.
The Untold Stories of India's First Women in Medicine, Kavitha Rao: In a time when the medical field is one of the most sought-after careers in India, this book is about six extraordinary women from the 1860s to the 1930s. From Anandibai Joshi to Kadambini Ganguly, and Rukhmabai Raut, these women defied the prevalent societal bias that they were unsuitable to pursue medicine by virtue of their gender.
A Face for Picasso, Ariel Henley:
Identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with a rare craniofacial condition, Crouzon syndrome, at just eight months old. Growing up, they endure several painful surgeries and the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement. This young adult memoir explores beauty, identity, resilience, and sisterhood.
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, Angela Saini:
Science has told us over the years that men and women are fundamentally different in terms of intelligence and emotions. Angela Saini investigates the vicious gender wars in biology, psychology, and anthropology to uncover how women are being rediscovered. She explores a scientific perspective where women are included, and not excluded.
Waves in the Hinterlands:
This book takes readers on the journey of Khabar Lahariya, a fortnightly newspaper that covers the news that mainstream media forgot. It was started in 2002 by a group of Dalit women in Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district. Khabar Lahariya has been making headlines with the Oscar nomination for the documentary Writing with Fire, which throws the spotlight on its print-to-digital transition.
Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh:
India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence, Sharanya Bhattacharya: This path-breaking book dives into the female gaze through the economic and personal trajectories of a diverse group of women as they search for intimacy, independence, and fun in an oppressive culture. They are divided by class but united in the fandom of the ultimate heartthrob of Bollywood —Shah Rukh Khan.