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A Social Distance, Social Justice Summer Reading List

Whether you’re sitting at home or at an isolated getaway, books continue to be a wonderful way to explore different places and understand other perspectives. We’ve compiled a list of books to help you stay connected with women around the world and learn how to support each other’s power.  


Rage Becomes Her Book Cover by Soraya Chemaly

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 

Are you angry about injustice? Have you felt rage when you encountered gender inequality? Chemaly not only explores why women are (rightfully) angry but the negative impacts of when women are forced to let go of this powerful, emotional resource. Through evidence and science, Chemaly shows how society and gender roles limit and control girls’ expression, its impacts into womanhood, and how anger can become a force for positive change.  


Book cover: So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo 

Being better advocates and allies for all women calls for breaking the systemic barriers that hold them back – including racism. Oluo’s book explains concepts such as privilege, intersectionality, microaggressions and more to provide a foundation for uncomfortable but necessary discussions about race. Voted as this month’s Women for Women International Book Club read, Oluo also discusses many persisting issues that affect Black people and people of color, such as police brutality. We hope you’ll join us for this month’s book club discussions! 


Book Cover - The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil 

In her memoir, Clemantine Wamariya pieces together her story of survive the Rwandan massacre and becoming a refugee together with her life later in the United States. She recounts the hardships she and her sister experienced wandering across south and central Africa and the failings of organizations and people who were supposed to protect them. As Wamariya reflects on the human potential for violence, she searches for the power to define her own story. 


Our Bodies Their Battlefield Book Cover by Christina Lamb

Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb 

War reporter Christina Lamb chronicles and amplifies the voices of women who experienced sexual and gender-based violence in the context of war. Though stories of conflict often focus on the consequences to men, Lamb bears witness to women who survived rape and war’s other atrocities. In elevating women so they do not go forgotten, the book reveals the devastating effects of sexual violence go beyond the individual to communities and the whole of humanity.  


She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey - Book Cover

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey 

Written by the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, Kantor and Twohey reveal the obstacles women faced coming forward with their experiences of sexual assault in systems that protect aggressors. The latter half of the book focuses on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, showing the aftermath for those who speak out. The #MeToo movement persists, and this book is a must-read on the power of women standing up together. 


Slay in Your Lane book cover by by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke

Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené 

Growing up, Adegoke and Uviebinené struggled to find successful role models who reflected their experiences as British Black women. Slay in Your Lane is the guide and celebration of Black woman success they yearned for as girls. With a lens towards intersectional identities, this “bible” contains stories and interviews with successful Black women like BAFTA Award-winning director Amma Asante, British Vogue publisher Vanessa Kingori and Olympic gold medalist Denise Lewis on topics such as dating, education, health, and more.  

Read all year: Join our book club! 

Connecting with women and our shared stories is how we share our strength. If you’re a passionate reader craving more celebration and understanding of women’s power, we invite you to join the Women for Women International Book Club!  

Each month with our growing community of readers, we ask our community to choose a book and read together to challenge and inspire each other to become stronger advocates and allies for women. Learn more about the book club here.  

We hope you’ll join us!