15 Books About Women Taking Action To Prepare You For 'A Day Without A Woman'
The already-historic Women's March in January proved that the women of the world will not be taking Trump's presidency lying down. First we marched — through cities from Washington to London — and now, we will strike. The International Women's Day strike is a protest to show what A Day Without A Woman would look like — in order to highlight how very crucial women are to the world's economy.
The idea is that women will take the day off on International Women's Day, and avoid partaking in any paid or unpaid labour, as well as trying not to spend any money, unless it is going toward women- or minority-owned businesses. The organizers stated on the website that the goal of the strike is "to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the US and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face." Of course, it's worth noting that it is more likely to be privileged women who are able to take part; the majority of American women simply cannot afford to take a day off work. This doesn't mean that they can't join in at all though; another way to show solidarity during the women's strike is merely to wear some red.
If you are able to take part in the #DayWithoutAWoman strike, you will be part of a long history of female resistance. These 15 books will remind you of all the women who have taken action in the past — and will inspire a new generation of women to keep on fighting for their rights.
1. 'They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War' by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook
They Fought Like Demons tells the incredible stories of women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men, showing strength and bravery that women weren't at the time believed to possess.
2. 'On Her Their Lives Depend: Munitions Workers in the Great War' by Angela Woollacott
Even without disguising themselves as men, women have always played an important part in war — and Angela Woollacott's book is all about the women's role on the home front in Britain during World War I.
3. 'Warrior Women' by Robin Cross and Rosalind Miles
If you really want to get a sense of quite how long women have been busy being badass warriors, read Warrior Women — a 3000-year history of every awesome thing women have done to fight for what they believe in.
4. 'One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC' by Charity Adams Earley
Charity Edna Adams was the first Black female officer, and she had to fight both the prejudices of men who didn't think women should be in the army, as well as those who could not accept a Black person in a position of authority. One Woman's Army is her incredible story.
5. 'Public Battles, Private Wars' by Laura Wilkinson
Laura Wilkinson's gorgeous novel explores the role played by women during the Miners' Strike on 1984 — and the way they found their public voices in a very male-dominated community.
6. 'Women, Resistance and Revolution: A History of Women and Revolution in the Modern World' by Sheila Rowbotham
This book was written in the '70s, and contains an overview of feminist movements in Russia and China. It tackles the double challenge women faced: sexism on top of an already unjust state system — and it's full of inspirational anecdotes for feminist activists today.
7. 'Sitt Marie Rose' by Etel Adnan
Sitt Marie Rose is based on the true story of an inspirational woman who ran a school for deaf children and was kidnapped during the Civil War in Lebanon.
8. 'Living for the Revolution' by Kimberly Springer
Kimberly Springer's book gives an in-depth analysis of the Black feminist movement, assembled through fascinating interviews with key activists. This is a need-to-know history that still affects civil rights movements today.
9. 'Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement' by Sarah Erdreich
Sarah Erdreich's powerful book is about the history of the fight for reproductive rights, but it's also about the future of where this important movement can go.
10. 'Falling Angels' by Tracy Chevalier
Falling Angels is a historical novel by the author of Girl With a Pearl Earring that gets inside the women's suffrage movement, giving voices to a range of characters involved in the struggle for women's rights.
11. 'The Good Girls Revolt' by Lynn Povich
When women refuse to play by unfair rules, change can happen. That's what happened when 46 female employees of Newsweek magazine sued their bosses for systematic discrimination — and it's what could happen after the women's strike on March 8.
12. 'Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It' by Mariko Lin Chang
The problem of women and wealth goes far beyond the wage gap — and Mariko Lin Chang's insightful book picks apart the multitude of issues still standing in the way of women having equal wealth. Not only does Chang shed light on what's causing this, she also offers a range of solutions — so activists know exactly what to fight for.
13. 'The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women's Rights' ed. by Minky Worden
If the books on your list teach you anything, it's that women have been fighting for equality for a long time — and the fight is nowhere near over. The Unfinished Revolution contains work from more than 30 writers from all over the world, each tackling some of the toughest questions in the global fight for women's rights. If you are able to take part in the Women's Day strike — this is what you're fighting for.