Feminist Books You Need To Read For Women's Equality Day 2023

26th August is Women’s Equality Day 2023, and we’re celebrating with 10 must-read feminist books written by women that you should pick up on this special day, or any other time.  

If you’re keen to learn more about the history of women’s rights and achievements, or what you can do to make a change, stick with us.

Our guide features some of the best thought-provoking books that are sure to educate you and inspire you.

Who runs the world? Girls!

womens equality day

Why Is Women’s Equality Day Important? 

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated  on 26th August, to mark the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. 

The fight for equality has come a long way since then, however, there is still gender inequality and discrimination impacting women of all ages and backgrounds.

Women’s equality is about ensuring equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities to women everywhere.

Which is why this day is so important, to give a platform and make women’s voices heard.

This Women’s Equality Day, discover more about the world for women and their experiences, voice your own story, be empowered, and play a part in making a change. 

Women's Equality Day

Feminist Books For Women’s Equality Day

Whether you’re new to feminism or not, these books are well worth reading.

These books will educate you on the history of gender inequality, highlight the issues face women internationally and show what can be done to make a change. 

You’re sure to find a book you’ll enjoy, with feminist novels, feminist non-fiction and feminist poetry featured.

So, without further-a-do here is our 10 favourite books you have to read!  

feminist books

1. The Handmaid’s Tale  

The Handmaid’s Tale novel is a classic work of feminist fiction.

You’ve probably heard or watched the award-winning TV show adaptation of the same name, however, the book is ever more powerful.  

Written by Margaret Atwood, the book is a feminist dystopian novel which focuses on the totalitarian state of Gilead that has overthrown the United States and American democracy.

It’s a powerful exploration of female oppression, where women only have one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, women are not allowed jobs, to read or to have friendships.  

Despite being written in 1986, the context of the story is so relevant and even more frightening in the 21st century, especially with the recent overturn of Roe vs. Wade in America. 

You can purchase the book on Kindle or buy a copy from Amazon.  


2. Women & Power: A Manifesto 

Women & Power by Mary Beard is a great read for Women’s Equality Day 2023. 

The author explores how history has treated powerful women and explores the roots of misogyny.  

Published in 2017, the book highlights how society has always associated power with males, and therefore women are perceived as unpowerful.

Beard writes about modern women in power like Theresa May, Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel and their treatment of abuse within society due to their public voice and status. 

She writes within this piece of work “When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice”. 

If you believe the fight for gender equality as over, then you have to read this book.  

If you want to read it for yourself, its available from Amazon.  



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3. What We’re Told Not to Talk About (But We’re Going to Anyway)

What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway) is a heart-breaking and powerful book by Nimco Ali.

The author shares her story of living with FGM and building a relationship with her own body.  

Not only does she discuss her own experiences, she also empowers women to do the same.

Giving a voice to women from around the world who’s stories may not have been told otherwise.

Ali refuses to shift the conversation of women’s bodies because it’s too rude or not lady like to discuss.

Instead, she writes about taboo subjects so openly and honestly and says there’s no such thing as oversharing about periods, miscarriages, menopause and FGM.

Shining a light on sex discrimination and the treatments that women and their body can face, if you read anything this Women’s Equality Day, let it be this. 



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4. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists Forgot

Hood Feminism is a critical feminist book, by Mikki Kendall.

It looks at the mainstream feminist movement and its failings to address the needs of all women within society. 

Within her critique of today’s movement the author argues that that there needs to be a focus of race, gender, class and sexual orientation within feminism.

One of the important questions Mikki explores is how feminists can fight for equality when some women are oppressing others? 

This book is a must-read for anyone who calls themselves a feminist, but most importantly white women.

It shines a light on the movement being anything but exclusive: ” If feminism is to truly represent all women, it must resist the tendency to assume that all women are experiencing the same struggles”.  

Buy a copy for yourself from Waterstones.


5. Men Explain Things to Me

Searching for the best feminist books? Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit discusses what goes wrong in conversations between men and women.

The book is a collection of thought-provoking essays that look at the range of misogyny in society and discusses topics such as mansplaining and sexual assault.  

Women are silenced on a daily basis by men who think they know better such as about topics of rape and victim-blaming. 

This book shows us that we have a voice which we need to speak out and use, not just for ourselves but for those who feel they can’t.  

This is definitely a book for those of both genders to pick up and read. As Solnit points out, this isn’t a problem just for women, but one that should be addressed by all.

By reading this book you’ll better understand the struggle that women still face within society! 

Get a copy of the book from Waterstones.



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6. Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living

Glennon Doyle’s feminist memoir Untamed is about living an authentic life and being true to who we are.

The self-help book follows Doyle’s feminist awakening as she accepts her homosexuality after she falls in love with a woman.  

She discusses her own experiences in life from her marriages, children, addiction, sexuality and her relationship with religion and the impact that patriarchy has had. 

The books anecdotes inspire the reader to be who they were before the world told you who to be and is a must for females looking to be empowered.  

It’s the perfect read for Women’s Equality Day as Doyle writes herself “Every time you pretend to be less than you are, you steal permission from other women to exist fully”.  

Fancy reading Untamed? Head to Amazon now.  



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7. She Must Be Mad

The perfect book doesn’t exist…it does! 

She Must be Mad is compilation of Charly Cox’s poetry written from her teenage years and onwards.  

Cox’s poetry first went viral on Instagram for its focus on a modern woman’s experiences and the battle to destigmatise mental health.

Within this amazing book, Cox discusses the reality of women during their coming-of-age journey from growing from a girl to a woman and the struggles they face.

The poems don’t look to sugar-coat topics like mental illness, body-image issues or insecurities, they look to empower and uplift women on their flaws and thoughts. 


8. We Should All Be Feminists

If you want to learn more about feminism and what it means, or want to understand the movement better, We Should All Be Feminists should be at the top of your list.

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie creates a true definition of feminism for the 21st century within this book.  

Adichie draws on her own experiences and her own understanding of sexual politics and what it means to be a woman in this day and age.

As well as trying to encourage men to hold conversations with women on sexuality, appearance, roles, and success.  

This book manages to capture what being a feminist truly is – fighting for the rights of women and making the world a better place for women.

What’re you waiting for? Order a copy from Amazon and add to your bookshelf, pronto.


9. Badly Behaved Women: The Story of Modern Feminism

Behaved Women explores feminism through the last 100 years of history.

From the suffragette movement to fighting against taking the pill to body positivity to the #metoo movement.   

Featuring entries, testimony essays from key figures and archive photographs, Anna-Marie Crowhurst manages to celebrate the past, present and future of feminism.  

This is an eye-opening and uplifting read for Women’s Equality Day.

It shines a light on women and the cultural history of the feminist movement – you have to read it! 

You can get yourself a copy from Amazon.  


10. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is the ultimate feminist book for Gen-z. 

Written by internet sensation Florence Given, this fantastic book reminds young women that we owe men nothing, never mind pretty.  

Florence covers a wide range of topics, like body image, unrealistic beauty standards, misogyny, sexism and the male gaze.

This book teaches us how to define feminism on our own terms, and how to be love of your own life.

It will also help you escape the out-dated and toxic narratives that women have to be physically attractive to be worthy. 

It gives young women hope to accept themselves and their imperfections – we LOVE it! 


That’s it gals, the end of our list of the best feminist books to read for Women’s Equality Day 2023. 

We hope you find a new favourite book to curl up and read within your student flat!

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