The best books on Gender Inequality, recommended by Linda Scott

Women produce about 40% of global GDP and more than half of the world’s food. But their economic and social contribution has too often gone unrecorded—subsumed into ‘household earnings’ or otherwise disregarded. Here, the Oxford academic and author of The Double X Economy Linda Scott selects five of the best books on gender inequality, and reveals how the empowerment of women might just be the route to world peace.

The Best Mary Wollstonecraft Books, recommended by Sylvana Tomaselli

Mary Wollstonecraft lived by her pen and wrote trenchant critiques of the role of women and marriage in late 18th century British society. She died aged 38, a few days after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Shelley. She is often remembered for writing the Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but it was not in fact her best book, says Cambridge intellectual historian Sylvana Tomaselli. Here, she recommends books to read to get a good understanding of the extraordinary Mary Wollstonecraft, and the writers she was both influenced by and reacting against.

The best books on Patriarchy, recommended by Mona Eltahawy

If you looked up patriarchy in a dictionary, the definition probably wouldn’t correspond with what most feminists and activists mean by it today. Here, Mona Eltahawy—journalist, activist and author of The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls—explains what it’s all about, why its tentacles are everywhere, and what to read to understand more about it.

The best books on Feminism, recommended by Kirsten Swinth

The fight for women’s liberation and equality under patriarchy spans centuries of history, and is still being waged today—but what lessons can feminist movements like #MeToo learn from suffragettes and black feminist activists? Fordham historian Kirsten Swinth explores the best books on feminism, and makes a powerful case for modern feminists listening to early foremothers.

The best books on Gender Politics, recommended by Bidisha

The 21st century has seen an explosion of feminist activism, with movements like #MeToo and the Women’s March. Accompanying this heightened attention to the lived experience of women, several extraordinary books have been published. Writer, feminist, critic and broadcaster Bidisha selects the best ones.

The Best Virginia Woolf Books, recommended by Hermione Lee

Virginia Woolf was long dismissed as a ‘minor modernist’ but now stands as one of the giants of 20th century literature. Her biographer, Hermione Lee, talks us through the best Virginia Woolf books, novels and essays, and diaries, of Virginia Woolf.

Deborah Levy on Motherhood in Literature

Aristotle tells us that all politics starts in the family, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the infamously fraught relationship between mother and daughter. Here, the novelist, playwright and poet Deborah Levy chooses five books – or rather, four books and one film – that explore motherhood.