March is Women’s History Month. It is a time for celebration and reflection, to honour the women whose endeavours have brought us closer to gender parity, and to consider how we can take the movement for women’s liberation forward.

We will be doing a weekly blog on the multifaceted nature of women’s issues, discussing a few of these facets in detail through the lens of our relevant titles. This week’s titles examine the relationship between education and empowerment, review the status of women in the Arab region, and unpack the gender binary. They also look at gender and the economy and feminist thought on fetish.


Reaching for the Sky
Empowering Girls through Education
Urvashi Sahni
Jul 2017 200pp
9780815730385 Hardback
Focuses on how gender equality can be achieved through education. This book shows how girls learn to be equal and autonomous in school and how they use this learning to transform their lives and those of their families. Sahni effectively argues that education can be truly transformative if it addresses the everyday reality of girls' lives and responds to their special needs.
Brookings Institution Press

Women, Work, and Economic Growth

Leveling the Playing Field
Edited by Kalpana Kochhar, Sonali Jain-Chandra, Monique Newiak
Feb 2017 180pp
9781513516103 Paperback
Despite significant progress in recent decades, labour markets across the world remain divided along gender lines, and progress toward gender equality seems to have stalled. This volume brings together key research by IMF economists on issues related to gender and macroeconomics.
International Monetary Fund

Beyond the Binary
Thinking About Sex and Gender
Shannon Dea
2016 190pp, 10 illustrations
9781554812837 Paperback
How many sexes are there? What is the relationship between sex and gender? Is gender a product of nature, or nurture, or both? In Beyond the Binary, Shannon Dea addresses these questions while introducing readers to evidence and theoretical perspectives from a range of cultures and disciplines, and from sources spanning three millennia.
Broadview Press


Against Wind and Tides
A Review of the Status of Women and Gender Equality in the Arab Region (Beijing +20)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
2016 90pp
9789211283891 Paperback
This study uses detailed and current data to highlight the many developments that have taken place in recent years in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Arab region. The study also examines major remaining obstacles, persistent elements of discrimination, and the unprecedented challenges that the region is currently facing due to conflicts and their impact on women's rights, safety, and conditions.
United Nations Publications

Thinking Kink
The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture
Catherine Scott
2015 228pp, 20 photographs
9780786498635 Paperback
When a mildly kink-themed trilogy became popular in 2012, it resulted in media speculation that feminism was in reverse. Taking on the different tropes that kink is often reduced to and how these are represented in books, TV shows, movies and the music industry, Scott explores the debates around BDSM and the issues raised for feminists.