We’re back with the June issue of Equality Now Recommends, where we share our favorite books, movies, podcasts, TV shows, and music that showcase women’s leadership, storytelling, and talent from around the world.
BURNT SUGAR BY AVNI DOSHI Described as “Taut, unsettling, ferocious,” Burnt Sugar is an exploration of a complicated mother-daughter relationship. Set against the backdrop of Pune, India, Doshi’s debut novel features female protagonists who chafe against each other and societal expectations of them.
THE SHADOW KING BY MAAZA MENGISTE Women, especially women soldiers, have largely been written out of the literature and history of colonial liberation movements. Mengiste mends this erasure in a searing and often brutal novel chronicling Ethiopia’s fight against Mussolini and Italian occupation. The book is largely told from the perspective of Hirut, a maid who becomes a soldier, and explores the uniquely gendered experience of being a woman in war.
THE COLLECTOR OF LEFTOVER SOULS BY ELAINE BRUM Elaine Brum is an investigative journalist in Brazil, who documents the lives of the country’s most marginalized. This collection of essays sheds a harsh spotlight on Brazil’s deep inequity and lack of resources for those pushed to the fringes of society. Despite the often horrifying circumstances, Brum portrays the ingenuity, passion, and tenacity in each of her subjects, providing some of the humanity that State-sanctioned violence and inequity took away.
Films and Shows
AMERICA’S WAR AGAINST ABORTION DIRECTED BY DEEYAH KHANUK filmmaker Deeyah Khan travels through the American South to document the impact of restrictive abortion laws. The film centers the voices of those most affected by these laws – the women and girls who need to access to abortion. Like all discriminatory laws, Khan demonstrates that abortion bans have a disproportionate negative impact on already marginalized populations, such as Black women and women from lower economic backgrounds. It is an intimate and frightening look at the future of reproductive rights and bodily autonomy in the United States.
Podcasts & Music
MISSING AND MURDERED: WHO KILLED ALBERTA WILLIAMS?Journalist Connie Walker of the Canadian Broadcast Company explores the case of Alberta Williams, a young indigenous woman found dead along Canada’s Trail of Tears. In exploring the circumstances around Alberta’s life and death, Connie delves into the larger context of missing and murdered indigenous women and how systemic racism contributes to disproportionately high rights of violence against native women in North America.
AURAT RAJEarlier this month, our Executive Director Yasmeen Hassan was featured on an episode of the podcast Aurat Raj. Started by two young feminists in Pakistan, the hosts of Aurat Raj interview “accomplished Pakistani women pertaining to the feminist issues that they stand for.”
EQUAL AFRICA PLAYLISTWere you worried the perfect playlist didn’t exist? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. The EQUAL Africa playlist features female artists from across the African continent including Sbhale from South Africa, Tems from Nigeria, and Nandy from Tanzania.