Ideas to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes International Women’s Day this year falls on March 8th. If you’re interested in doing something at school, their site has loads of resources and suggestions for their theme #eachforequal https://www.inteArnationalwomensday.com/Resources IWD is about raising awareness about the inequalities that still exist for women around the world. Whether it’s in education, healthcare, work, finance, or any other aspect of life, women still experience inequality at virtually every level. The international statistics are horrifying – but the really, amazingly hopeful thing is that when men and women are equal, everything improves. UN research backs this up. When women enter education in a country, you …

“Be a lady” – the contradictory messages girls get every day

Reading Time: 2 minutes This video from Girls, Girls, Girls magazine is pretty powerful: There’s some discussion about the magazine promoting it and whether it’s genuinely a change of direction, but I think the message of conflicting messages is a powerful one – and the debate about whether the magazine itself is promoting or challenging only intensifies that conflict. I start my book, The Lost Girls, with this quotation from Caitlin Moran: “When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today” — Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman. …

Little Women review

Reading Time: 5 minutes I can’t remember what age I was when I read Little Women but I remember the edition. It was a hardback, part of a children’s classics set that included The Secret Garden. It had an oval frame of colour on the front with a picture of the opening scene and every so often inside there were four colour illustrations. I loved it, the book and the story. It’s one of those stories that really rewards a reader who returns to it over and over again: there’s always something different to find or another way of looking at the characters and events …

“Books are mirrors, windows, or sliding-glass doors”

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Rudine Sims Bishop [the author and educator] says that books are either mirrors, windows or sliding-glass doors, and that’s important in the act of resistance. You need that mirror to see yourself, to know what you can be and know what you are. And then you need that window to see into someone else’s life so you can understand what’s happening around you in the world that you may not notice at first glance. And you need the sliding-glass door so that you can step into someone else’s life and walk in with some empathy and use that empathy to make yourself heard.

Angie Thomas Q&A with The Guardian

Performing the good girl

Reading Time: 6 minutes Chris Curtis’s latest blogpost – https://learningfrommymistakesenglish.blogspot.com/ – chimes with some things I’ve been writing / thinking about for a while now, about the ways that girls adopt different personas depending, in large part, on the expectations they experience in different places. I’ve had conversations at parents’ evenings that reveal the dilemma he describes, that “The home persona will say something and challenge things when the school persona will not, because they are worried they’ll get told off. Life for them is the battle between these two versions of themselves.” Working at a girls’ school for a decade, I’ve had lots of …