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Monday March 8th is International Women's Day!

Post brought to you by library intern, Lauren Ordway an English Major at UML. 

International Women’s Day, celebrated March 8th, is exactly as it sounds; a day recognized worldwide in which women’s fight for equality is recognized and awareness of our biased society is confronted. A big focus of IWD is celebrating the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge which encourages us, as individuals with our own controllable actions, to call out gender bias and inequality; “a challenged world is an alert world.” More about IWD here.

Ways to get Involved:

On the IWO’s official website, there is a list including hundreds of events happening worldwide where communities are gathering–virtually, of course–to celebrate this important day. Link.

Although our local committee Lowell Women’s Week is halting their usual annual events, there are still many interesting resources of past events available online. Check out this public art exhibit from Lowell Women’s Week in 2013, which focused around the theme of “Working Together, Creating Change”.

International Women’s Day centers around a multitude of missions, all which involve bringing the voices of powerful women to light.

  • To celebrate the work of women creatives and elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions: link
  • To celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology: link
  • To celebrate women athletes and applaud when equality is achieved in pay, sponsorship and visibility: link
  • To assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health: link
  • To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and achievements are celebrated: link
  • To shine a spotlight on activity encouraging and uplifting women to pursue goals without bias or barriers: link

Women-focused book recommendations:

Women in Science – Rachel Ignotofsky 
Book | eBook
In this illustrated and educational book, fifty notable women in the fields of science, mathematics, technology and engineering are highlighted. From ancient times to the modern world, important women in STEM who have paved the way are recognized along with beautiful illustrations and infographics.

A Woman of No Importance – Sonia Purnell
Book | eBook | Goodreads
The untold story of the American spy who helped win World War II. Virginia Hall, a young American woman, was one of the greatest spies in American history. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the “Madonna of the Resistance,” coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters.

The Push – Ashley Audrain
Book | eBook | Audiobook | Goodreads
In this newly published fiction thriller, Blythe Connor is determined to become the loving mother to her daughter Violet that she never had. When she begins to fear something is wrong with her daughter during the exhaustion of motherhood, her husband dismisses her fears causing Blythe to question her own sanity. After her son is born, life as they know it changes in an instant and Blythe is forced to face the truth.

Hortense and the Shadow – Natalia O’Hara 
Book | Goodreads
This children’s fantasy follows Hortense, a young, brave girl who gets angry at her shadow that follows her everywhere she goes. She feels her shadow must hate her too, that is, until she meets bandits that surprise her in the woods and she finds out her shadow is just what she needs.

Blood Water Paint – Joy McCullough
Book | Audiobook | eBook | Goodreads
McCullough’s bold novel written in verse follows Artemisia Gentileschi in Renaissance Italy, abundant with creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. Based on the true story, Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the first women in history to take her sexual assault case to court; the courage and determination to not be silenced fills this novel’s pages.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot – Mikki Kendall 
Book | Audiobook | eBook
Through a collection of essays, Kendall critiques today’s feminist movement and the glaring blind spot that resides in mainstream feminist. Kendall argues that gender intersects food insecurity, safe neighborhoods, quality education, class, race and sexual orientation. She brings light to the idea that while a few are fighting for more privilege, they are stepping on others in the process.


Poetry Foundation Article Celebrating Women’s History Month

Poetry Foundation Collection: Poetry & Feminism

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) Poetry Foundation | Books

Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823-1902) Poetry Foundation
“Nameless Pain”

Lucy Larcom (1824-1893)  Poetry Foundation | Books

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Poetry Foundation | Books

Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)  Poetry Foundation | Books

H. D. (1886-1961) Poetry Foundation | Books

Marianne Moore (1887-1972 ) Poetry Foundation | Books

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) Poetry Foundation | Books

May Swenson (1913-1989) Poetry Foundation | Books

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) Poetry Foundation | Books

Mitsuye Yamada (b. 1923) Poetry Foundation

Denise Levertov (1923-1997) Poetry Foundation | Books

Carolyn Kizer (1925-2014) Poetry Foundation | Books

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)  Poetry Foundation | Books

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) Poetry Foundation | Books
“Her Kind”

Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) Poetry Foundation | Books

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)  Poetry Foundation | Poem Book | Books
“Lady Lazarus”

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)  Poetry Foundation | Books
“A Litany for Survival”

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) Poetry Foundation | Books

Alice Walker (b. 1944)  Poetry Foundation | Poem Book | Books

Pat Parker (1944-1989)  Poetry Foundation | Novel

Carolyn Forché (b. 1950    ) Poetry Foundation | Books

Rita Dove (b. 1952) Poetry Foundation | Books

Tracy K. Smith (b. 1972) Poetry Foundation | Books

Matthea Harvey (b. 1973) Poetry Foundation | Books

Yrsa Daley-Ward (b. 1984)  Poetry Foundation | eBook | Audiobook

Poetry and Feminism Collection

Other places to check out:

National Women’s History Museum NWHM

Charities Accepting Donations