International Women’s Day 2022 – AIU Reading List!

At the moment, we’re developing and updating the AIU Library collections, going through each section book by book to see what we have, and to ensure that our holdings are diverse, relevant and current. MA students Emma and Jasmine are currently doing placements here at the AIU Library, and are helping us out with this project. They’re exploring the Gender section, carrying out research to ensure that the subsections on Feminist Theory and Activism, and Family Relations, are up to date and reflect current thinking.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked Emma and Jasmine to share their book recommendations from the AIU Library. Discover their picks below!

Emma’s IWD recommendations

Front cover of the book Minority Women and Austerity featuring three stylised female faces on a yellow background.

Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain written by Leah Bassel and Akwugo Emejulu

This book looks at societal restraints and issues that women of colour face in France, Scotland, and England. There are many first-hand accounts in the book, and I think this would be really motivating for other women to read.


Front cover of Beyond the Pale. Includes a black and white photo of seated women on a white background.

Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History written by Vron Ware

This book deals with the issue of white feminism, and how it is ingrained in most feminist movements in Britain. The book also explains how white feminism affects many ethnic groups. I think this is an important topic to discuss within feminist movements.


Jasmine’s IWD recommendations

Front cover of Zami. Includes the large word ZAMI written diagonally across a white background.

Zami: A New Spelling of my Name written by Audre Lorde

Audre was a Black woman lesbian growing up in mid-20th century America; her race, gender, and sexuality were all rejected by society. This biomythography tells how Audre lived her own life under social ignorance and the close bonds with women throughout her life; it encourages women to self-love regardless of the external environment. 


Not Our Kind of Girl: Unravelling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood written by Elaine Bell Kaplan

This books explains why ‘relational poverty’ could lead women to get pregnant in an early stage of their lives and suggests thoughtful social policies that could help with the situation. Such inspiring analysis allows readers to understand teenage mothers from a new perspective, without stereotypes.



Emma and Jasmine’s selections are currently on display in the AIU Library, along with the titles below. Please drop by and check them out, and watch this space for more content from our MA placement students!

Front cover of Ain't I a Woman. Includes a black and white image of graffiti on a white background.

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism written by bell hooks

This classic study of Black womanhood by bell hooks examines the oppression of Black women by white men, Black men, and white women, and shows that sexism and racism are inextricably connected. 


Front cover of Black Teacher. Includes a black and white photo of the author surrounded by school children.

Black Teacher written by Beryl Gilroy

Beryl Gilroy’s memoir recounts how she overcame the prejudice she encountered in 1950s and 60s Britain to become one of the UK’s first Black headteachers.


Front cover of Crossing the Border. Includes a painted face with a large blue eye.

Crossing the Border: Voices of Refugee and Exiled Women edited by Jennifer Langer

 A collection of writing by women who are refugees or living in exile, including stories, memoirs and poetry, which puts front and centre the experiences of women in war and its aftermath, which are too often pushed to the sidelines.


Front cover of Little Leaders. Includes cartoon pictures of five women from within the book on a dark blue background.

Little Leaders: Visionary Women around the World written by Vashti Harrison

This book features the true stories of diverse women thinkers and creatives from all over the world, from the 18th century Chinese astronomer and poet Wang Zhenyi to Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, and many more in between.

GE.2/HAR, Children’s

Front cover of Malala's Magic Pencil. Includes an illustration of Malala drawing.

Malala’s Magic Pencil written by Malala Yousafzai (GE.2.01/YOU, Children’s)

This inspiring book, featuring beautiful illustrations by Kerascoët, tells Malala’s story in her own words, and shows the importance of finding and using your voice.

Front cover of Kalpana Chawla, a life. Includes a photo of Kalpana and an image of the Earth from space.

Kalpana Chawla, a life written by Anil Padmanabhan (GE.2.01/PAD, Children’s)

The biography of Kalpana Chawla, who was born in a small town in Haryana, India, and went on to become the first Indian woman to travel to space.