13 feminist books to add to your reading list right now

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  • International Women’s Day is officially upon us. Across the world people are coming together to push for gender equality and to celebrate the progress that has been made.

    This year, Marie Claire is focusing on action, launching our International Women’s Day guest edit with feminist activist Jameela Jamil and encouraging our readers to follow her lead and become change-makers themselves.

    We all have voice, and we need to use it to challenge and make lasting change. After all, as Jameela told us, ‘Sometimes silence can be complicity.’

    This International Women’s Day, we’re providing you with the women’s rights petitions you need to be signing, the feminist slogan tees you could be donning and the inspiring women you should be following, with a week of powerful content guest edited by Jameela herself.

    It’s time to take action. But in order to do this, we must first educate ourselves.

    ‘Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference,’ human rights activist Claire Fagin once said, and what better knowledge than from the feminists who have paved the way.

    Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard, £5.94, WH Smith
    Women and Power is made up of two essays, based on Mary’s hit lectures, ‘The Public Voice of Women’ and ‘Women in Power’. Analysing Homer and Ovid, this manifesto traces the roots of misogyny back to Athens and Rome, looking into how history has treated powerful women.

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    The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, £9.99, Foyles
    The Feminine Mystique is a landmark book, challenging the assumption that women could be fulfilled through housework and motherhood alone. It is often credited with sparking the second-wave feminism in the US.

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    We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, £5.99, Waterstones
    We Should All Be Feminists is an essay adapted from Nigerian author Chimanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 TEDx talk, breaking down the definition of feminism for the 21st century.

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    This International Women’s Day, MC Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot has collated her top favourite feminist book recommendations. And with works from Simone de Beauvoir and Gloria Steinem to Charly Cox and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, there’s no shortage of inspiration.

    Happy International Women’s Day fellow change-makers!

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