I didn’t even know that there was an International Women’s Day until this year! I must have learnt about it at school because the movement was started by the Suffragettes in 1911. I remember studying the women and being inspired by their passion for change.
Here are some hashtags you may be interested in:
- #TimesUp: Challenging sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.
- #MeToo: Raising awareness of sexual assault instead of hiding it.
- #PressForProgress: This is the official theme of the International Women’s Day. It has ideas to enable everybody to take part in being inclusive of women.
I have never categorized myself as a feminist but I do feel that men and women should get the same opportunities and recognition for their hard work. Change won’t be overnight but we are moving in the right direction.
To celebrate, I shall share with you the strongest female characters from novels that took action to change their world:
The Handmaid’s Tale
My first holiday with friends (no parents), my little sister gave me The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood as a beach read. I wouldn’t recommend it as a summer read but I couldn’t put the book down. It was a page-turner and I honestly couldn’t imagine what was going to happen next.
Many women cannot have children in this post-nuclear world. Offred is able to have children. She becomes a slave to the rich and powerful to bear their children. She may sound like a weak character because she complies but her spirit is strong and you can feel that she is going to bring change but as she is constantly watched it will be incredibly dangerous.
The book is worth reading. Hulu recently created a TV series based on the novel and that is amazing too (next season out in April).
The Hunger Games
Sadly, I didn’t get to read the books before the film came out. The series of books is by Suzanne Collins.
It is set in a post-war world where the twelve districts have to send one girl and one boy (children) to compete in a TV Show called the Hunger Games to remind them about the innocent lives that are lost at war. The MC, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers herself when her little sister’s name is called. Her sacrifice makes her instantly likeable. What makes her a strong woman is that she decides to break the system and through her actions, she inspires and leads a rebellion for change.
The Diary of a Young Girl
I think everyone has heard of Anne Frank, the little girl who hid from the Nazi’s and kept a diary of her life surviving a world war. Her diary is a true account of what happened during her hiding.
I had no idea but apparently, there is a movie based on her diary. It is also a long time since I read her diary but I remember it being very moving, insightful and thought-provoking.
You may think that Anne doesn’t deserve to make the list because she hid, she didn’t fight, she didn’t make a difference… or did she? Writing her diary was extremely dangerous and brave. Anne’s diary has been read all over the world making her voice clearly heard regarding what happened. Her words have educated billions to change, to never let it happen again. Her diary ensures we never forget.
The book Matilda is written by Roald Dahl. I had read the book and watched the movie.
You may think it’s strange that she has made the list but she lived with a family that didn’t encourage or support her desire to read or go to school. As young as she is, she fought for her rights. It probably did help having telekinesis powers.
Okay, I promise I am not being biased on this one, even though the series really captured me and is my all-time favourite. Let me explain why I think the MC is a strong woman.
The story is based around Faythe’s family who are all shifters (werecats/Panthers). It is set in today’s world but humans don’t know they exist. The shifters world is very male-dominated and the daughters are to be protected. Faythe’s father is training her to become the first female leader and she is the first female enforcer. During the series, she has to overcome a number of challenges to prove herself and it is very action packed.
The first title in the series is Stray by Rachel Vincent. I have no idea why this book has still not been made into a movie/series yet. It is so good!
What do you think?
To me, these women are all powerful and strong as the characters were overcoming difficulties that restricted them from being all they could be. Their actions brought around change.
Is there anyone you think I should have included in my top 5 list? Any books you recommend I read that feature strong women? Please comment and share your thoughts.