International Women's Day, or IWD for short, is on 8th March and has been marked around the world for more than 100 years and is seen as a day to feature the achievements of women across history while also looking ahead, and making sure that women and girls have the same opportunities to succeed now and in the future. One of the main events that is often focused on is the Women’s Suffrage movement which 100 years ago this year succeeded in getting votes for women. As a suffragette (the more militant women in the women’s suffrage movement), one of the most important figures was Emmeline Pankhurst who is the main character for Megan Rix’s Emmeline and the Plucky Pup. You can also read more about Women’s Suffrage, by clicking here.
It is really important that we celebrate IWD to remember the work and sacrifice that has gone in to women’s education and the chances they have today. The work that has been carried out throughout history has changed the lives of women today, with the education they are allowed to have, and the jobs they can choose. In the past women weren’t able to own anything, all their possessions belonged to their fathers, then their husbands. However, there is still room for improvement, so celebrating IWD every year offers a chance to educate the younger generation of girls and boys, and help them to understand the need for an equal society. There is a wide range of books available for children and teenagers that will encourage the next generation of women to think big, as well as to educate boys and girls about Suffrage. These books include Things A Bright Girl Can Do (13+) by Sally Nicholls which is set in the 19th century and tells the story of three young suffragettes who come together from three different backgrounds in order to join the fight for a fairer society. Mollie on the March (9+/11+) by Anna Carey is about Mollie Carberry and her best friend Nora and their work to be involved in the suffragette movement, overcoming obstacles in the urgency and excitement of the times. Fantastically Great Women Who Made History (5+/7+) by Kate Pankhurst (a distant relation of Emmeline), the follow up from Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is an inspiring picture book packed full of women’s stories that will get young readers inspired and excited about the remarkable achievements of pioneering women and the power that everyone has to change the world. Lucy Beevor’s Amazing Women: 101 Lives to Inspire You is another beautifully illustrated collection of amazing achievements of more than 100 inspirational women of our time who have become trailblazers, campaigners, pioneers and creators including Beyonce, JK Rowling and Serena Williams. Another great recommendation is Girls for the Vote (9+/11+) by Linda Newbery which tells the tale of thirteen year old Polly who becomes friends with two suffragettes and, with her new found understanding, starts to question the views of those around her. Little girls with dreams become women with great vision so do share The Little People Big Dreams series with children aged 5+. From designers and artists to scientists and engineers, all of the people in this trailblazing series went on to achieve incredible things. Yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream...Little People, Big Dreams is the original biography picture book series for young change-makers - a first library showing the true breadth of women's achievement. Each book tells the childhood story of one of the world's female icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for even the youngest non-fiction readers, allowing them to identify with the characters in each story. You can also check out our Blog post on LoveReading.co.uk which has a wide range of books written by fantastic female authors as well as suggestions that are perfect for perusal this International Women’s Day.