• Parents for Diversity

It's International Women's Day

Updated: Mar 10, 2019

Happy International Women’s Day!!! Today we honour, celebrate, and remember the achievements of women around the world to the social, political, economic and cultural fabric of our society. The United Nations theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” to “focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.”

Status of Women Canada has resources and ideas to celebrate International Women’s Day under this year’s theme #InnovateForChange.

Events are taking place around the world to observe International Women’s Day. What do you have planned to mark this special day? Leave us a comment below or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

From athletes to zoologists, Nobel laureates and women in STEM, women continue to shatter glass ceilings. Women also continue to experience discrimination, violence and exploitation. We are all part of the solution to achieve gender equality and opportunities for women to succeed.

We have put together books that celebrate over 200 women in different fields. These are stories of trailblazers, women who have risen to the occasion, and in the face of adversity, have achieved greatness. They are controversial, thought-provoking, and inspiring! We’ve also included books of fiction with lead female characters.

Art, Design and Architecture

1. Artemisia Gentileschi in Amazing Artists and Designers by Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

2. Augusta Savage in In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor of Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder Dr MD

3. Coco Chanel in Coco Chanel by Zena Alkayat

4. Frida Kahlo in Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown

5. Maria Merian in The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

6. Maya Lin in Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey

7. Yayoi Kusama in Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity! by Sarah Suzuki

8. Zaha Hadid in The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter

9. Emily Carr in Four Pictures by Emily Carr by Nicolas Debon

Books and Literature

1. Alia Muhammad Baker in Alia Muhammad Baker: Saving a Library from War by Lindsay Bacher

2. Anne Frank in The Diary of a Young Girl

3. Harper Lee in Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus

4. Jane Austen in Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou

5. Maya Angelou in Maya Angelou by Lisbeth Kaiser

6. Misuzu Kaneko in Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

7. Phillis Wheatley in My Name Is Phillis Wheatley: A Story of Slavery and Freedom by Afua Cooper

8. Pura Belpré in The Storyteller's Candle: La Velita de Los Cuentos by Lucaia M Gonzaalez


1. Beatrice Ayettey in Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers

2. Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson in Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt

3. Environmentalists from our First Nations by Vincent Schilling

4. Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists by Jeannine Atkins

5. Isatou Ceesay in One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

6. Jane Goodall in The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

7. Mina Hubbard in Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers

8. Rachel Carson in Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor

9. Sylvia Earle in Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola

10. Wangari Maathai in Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter

Law and Politics

1. Ameenah Gurib in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

2. Benazir Bhutto in 101 Awesome Women Who Changed Our World by Julia Adams

3. Charlotte E. Ray in Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

4. Evita Perón in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

5. Fadumo Dayib in 101 Awesome Women Who Changed Our World by Julia Adams

6. Hillary Clinton in A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton (American Girl: A Girl Named) by Rebecca Paley

7. Indira Gandhi in Indira Gandhi: Child of Politics by Sreelata Menon

8. Michelle Obama in I Am Michelle Obama: The First Lady by Margina Graham Parker

9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg in No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull

10. Sonia Sotomayor in Turning Pages: My Life Story

11. What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton

Music and Entertainment

1. Amalia Hernández in Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico's Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh

2. Celia Cruz in My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz by Monica Brown

3. Florence Mills in Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson

4. Josephine Baker in Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

5. Maria Anna Mozart in For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch

6. Marian Anderson in When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan

7. Misty Copeland in Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition

8. Oprah Winfrey in Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

9. Sonita Alizadeh in 101 Awesome Women Who Changed Our World by Julia Adams

10. Xian Zhang in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

Pilots and the Air Force

1. Amelia Earhart in Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan

2. Bessie Coleman in Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden

3. Elinor Smith in Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown

4. Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O'Connell Pearson

5. Gertrude Tompkins in Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins by James W. Ure

6. Harriet Quimby in Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel by Marissa Moss

7. Jerrie Mock in The Jerrie Mock Story: The First Woman to Fly Solo around the World by Nancy Roe Pimm

8. Ruth Law in Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang

9. Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII by Sally Deng

10. Sophie Blanchard in Lighter than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot by Matthew Clark Smith

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

1. Ada Lovelace in Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley

2. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden in Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

3. Eugenie Clark in Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating

4. Grace Hopper in Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

5. Mae Jemison in Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

6. Margaret Hamilton in Margaret and the Moon by Dean Robbins

7. Patricia Bath in The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath by Julia Finley Mosca

8. Raye Montague in The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca

9. Sophie Germain in Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe

10. Temple Grandin in The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca

Social Justice

1. Clara Lemlich in Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel

2. Dolores Huerta in Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren

3. Harriet Tubman in Before She was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome

4. Malala Youfsafzai in Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo

5. Margaret Pokiak-Fenton in Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton

6. Razia Jan in Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby

7. Sacajawea in Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac

8. Sylvia Mendez in Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

9. Viola Desmond in Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged by Jody Nyasha Warner

10. Elizabeth Peratrovich in Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich by Annie Boochever

11. Irena Sendler in Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust by Jennifer Rozines Roy


1. Billie Jean King in I am Billie Jean King by Brad Meltzer (2019)

2. Gertrude Ederle in America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David A. Adler

3. Hayley Wickenheiser in Hayley Wickenheiser: Born to Play by Elizabeth Etue

4. Ila Jane Borders in Making My Pitch: A Woman's Baseball Odyssey by Ila Jane Borders and Jean Hastings Ardell

5. Lella Lombardi in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

6. Ibtihaj Muhammad in Proud: Living My American Dream

7. Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman, Elijah Zuckerman, and Gabriel Zuckerman

8. Sophie Pascoe in Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic New Zealand Women by Barbara Else

9. Tillie Anderson in Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher

10. Trischa Zorn in The People Awards by Lily Murray

11. Venus and Serena Williams in Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Howard Bryant

Collection of stories

1. Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

2. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst

3. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh

4. Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic New Zealand Women by Barbara Else

5. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

6. Great Women from our First Nations by Kelly Fournel

7. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

8. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed The World by Susan Hood

9. She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton

10. Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker

11. What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women by Kay Woodward

12. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

13. Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

14. Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers

15. Fierce: Women who Shaped Canada by Lisa Dalrymple

Fiction with Female Lead Characters

1. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

2. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

3. Ada Twist, Scientist Hardcover by Andrea Beaty

4. The Breadwinner: A Graphic Novel by Deborah Ellis

5. Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi

6. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

7. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

8. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

10. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

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