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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

It is the 21st century, and thankfully, the position of women is slowly rising in all social, political, private, and public spheres, as it should. But it is still not enough. 
In the whole wide world, 1 in 3 women is still harassed, sexually and/or physically abused, trafficked, or beaten to death. 

While thankfully, to feminist movements, times are changing. Women are getting the equal status they deserve at some places, but there is a long way, and today we're doing our bit. Today, 25th November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women for those who don't know. 

So we decided to share a few book recommendations that create awareness against domestic violence, gender inequality and briefly talked about human rights. We're hoping that these books will help you understand the significance of this subject and give you a new perspective.


1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak book

People love showing support, but they disappear when you actually need help or someone to listen to you. Melinda is lonely, and she has something to share, but she doesn't. Her only solace was her art class, where she could busy herself with her thoughts and express herself in pictures and how she was raped by an upperclassman that happens to still go to the same institute as her and is still a threat to her. 

When another traumatizing encounter with that man happened just when she thought she was healing, she didn’t stay silent. This time she fights, she speaks. Laurie Halse Anderson’s book speaks volumes about the importance of speaking for oneself, the cynicism towards the double standards of people, feeling unsafe even in public and seemingly safe spaces. 

This would be an excellent start for someone who wants to learn about social justice towards girls and women and have a realistic idea of bullying and insults that follows because of victim-blaming and ignorance. You can find the book here.


2. Mayada: Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson

Mayada

Jean Sasson is known for her books about women in the middle-east countries. When Sasson first visited Iraq, she wanted someone to interpret the language for her to make things easier to understand and talk to the women there, and that’s when she met Mayada. 

However, a year later, when she visits again, Jean finds no trace of Mayada. Instead, she learns that Mayada is imprisoned in the Baladiyat Prison and has witnessed the terror of Saddam Hussain. 

Thus this nonfiction book is brought to life through the story of Mayada’s traumatic experience and those of other ‘shadow women’ who were her cellmates. The tale of Mayada is one of a kind and focuses on the disturbingly terrifying ways of torture that women are put through and their protest and self-determination against it. You can find the book here.


3. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa stands with its name, narrating a dark, terrifying tale of a rape victim called Vanessa. He was manipulated by her English teacher into consenting sexual favors to him. 

This book might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it focuses on the topic of consent that not a lot of people talk about, and when they do, controversies and conflicted reasoning arises. However, when Vanessa was a kid, she was highly supported by her English teacher, and this support soon turned into friendship, to emotional and physical intimacy. 

She wrongly assumed that the teacher was in love with her, but her bubble burst when another student accused her professor of raping young students. Vanessa is faced with an unlikely challenge, unable to decide it was love or physical abuse. This can be an excellent pick for you to understand pedophilia and sexual violence in the name of love. You can find the book here.


4. A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

Walk Across the Sun

A Walk Across the Sun is a tale about two sisters, Ahalya Ghai and fifteen-year-old Sita, strays and homeless. They lost their family in a calamity and then abducted and taken to a brothel in Mumbai.

The other important character is Thomas Clarke, an attorney who has made it a mission to rescue all illegally trafficked to brothels and slaves. Learning about the fate of Sita and Ahalya, he will do anything to save them. You can find the book here.


5. Princess Series by Jean Sasson

Princess Book Series

Based on a true-life account, the Princess series by Jean Sasson is based on the life of a Saudi Arabian princess named Sultana. Although she had the courage and the privilege to speak for herself and put her story out there, unlike other women in her country, she had to still face a turbulent childhood and patriarchal oppression in her family. 

The series exposes women's life behind the veil in Saudi Arabia through her eyes, where sex, money, and men hold power against women. You can find the book here.


6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a story about African American women that focuses on the domestic and sexual abuse that they put through with the stories of Shug, Celie, Sofia, and Nellie. 

The book graphically explains the violence faced by women through an epistolary story narration style with a lot of social justice and feminist ideas against the patriarchal society to unpack. You can find the book here.


7. Nobody's Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs and Trolls by Carrie Goldberg

Nobody's Victim

Women are sadly not safe anywhere. Not even in their own houses or on virtual platforms for social connection. In Nobody’s Victim, Carrie Goldberg protests against the rising cases of sextortion, revenge porn, cyber blackmailing and manipulation, and unconsented photo morphing and misusage of it in public areas to humiliate and harass women and young girls. 

She covers the laws that include these privacy violations and how limitedly they are used in real-life scenarios. This nonfiction book talks about the legal aspects of dealing with these problems and focuses on the author's self-discovery. You can find the book here.


8. No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder

No Visible Bruises

Through No Visible Bruises, Rachel Louise Snyder, a journalist, talks about her accumulated interviews with numerous victims and abusers. However, her mindset changed utterly when she dived deeply into the issue of domestic violence. 

This book boldly exposes myths and stereotypes that prevail in our society and takes the readers on many people's heart-wrenching, brutal, and fearlessly honest journey. You can find the book here.


9. Combating Violence Against Women: A Reality in the Making by Smita Nayak

Combating Violence Against Women

This book reemphasized why women are the worst sufferers of society and how females are constantly subjected as sexual objects, with no purpose and secondary ambitions and opinions. 

It talks about how women always lose in the tug of war with patriarchy, religion, politics, society in general, and struggle through rape, harassment, and violence. This is a critical book aimed at public figures, researchers, activists, lawmakers, and familiar people trying to support women to reach their full potential. You can find the book here.


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

Our Bodies, Their Battlefield

Women have been objectified for centuries. Take any war or any legend, for example. Be it the famous World Wars, Wars of Independence, Partitions, or Reunifications, or how most recently in Hathras, a Dalit woman was raped by upperclassmen. Moreover
, men have made it a point to show their aggression by marking women's bodies by violating them sexually to satisfy their hatred towards another person, caste, class, or country. 

As a result, women have been constantly reduced to trophy wives, sex slaves, deemed property owned and controlled by men. This feminist book is essential for anyone who wants to learn about the history of women’s ill-usage throughout political and religious wars, accustoming them to violence and trauma. You can find the book here.


11. I Am Still Alive: Journey of Acid Attack Victims by Aman Kapur

I Am Still Alive

I Am Still Alive is a thought-provoking story about every woman who was attacked by acid because she wanted to rise to her standards, learn more, achieve more, make her life more worthy of living. 

Acid attacks still happen today in India; despite the many law enforcement and court hearings, things are going at very slow pace. However, Aman Kapur insists that Indian society has had a mindset change in the past few years. Looks at acid attack survivors through a new vision through this novel. You can find the book here.


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