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Happy International Women's Day! This year's theme is 'balance for better' - so we decided to take a look at gender balance within the book industry. Here's a few of the things we've learned.

Win Win by Joanne Lipman

Within the pages of this rallying cry to close the gender pay gap, author Joanne Lipman reveals some staggering stats about gender imbalance in the workplace. Did you know that over the course of a forty-year career, women will spend around 10,800 hours more than men making themselves look presentable? That’s over a year!

Fed Up by Gemma Hartley

Even with female workforce participation at a record high, author Gemma Hartley notes that “Women are still spending double the time men do on both domestic labour and caring for children.” Ever heard someone tell you that you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé? We recommend asking them if Beyoncé has to do almost all the housework and childcare as well as slaying it as queen of the universe.

Worthwhile reading

Analysis of more than two million titles shows that on average, books by women are priced 45% lower than books by men.  And even when you account for the fact that genres traditionally written by women are priced lower than those traditionally written by men, prices for authors with identifiably female names are still 9% lower than for their male colleagues.

The Golden Ratio of Sexism

The golden ratio applies to children’s literature, as well: for every smart/brave/adventurous fictional heroine, the author must supply 1.618 boys. We love all the strong heroines we come across in children's literature, but it's worth thinking about their purpose in the story. Are they just there to support a male lead? And do they have just as much freedom to be vulnerable as strong? 

Bookwomen are doin' it for themselves

Rare book dealers and collectors are still routinely referred to as ‘bookmen’ – AN Devers is a bookwoman who advocates for the legacy of women and their writing. Her business, The Second Shelf, is part bookshop, part collection project, and 100% amazing titles by female authors. 

Balance for Better

This is the theme of this years' International Women's Day.

"How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality."

We've picked these books to help you celebrate the very best of our female authors and stories.

  • Louis and Louise - Julie Cohen

    ONE LIFE. LIVED TWICE. Louis and Louise are the same person born in two different lives. They are separated only by the sex announced by the doctor and a final 'e'. They have the same best friends, the same red hair, the same dream of being a writer, the same excellent whistle. They both suffer one catastrophic night, with life-changing consequences. Thirteen years later, they are both coming home. A tender, insightful and timely novel about the things that bring us together - and those which separate us, from the author of Richard & Judy recommended book Together.

  • We Are Displaced - Malala Yousafzai

    Malala presents true stories of the refugee experience interwoven with her own story of her displacement in this incredibly moving follow up to her internationally bestselling memoir.

  • Amazing Australian Women - Pamela Freeman, Sophie Beer

    A bright and colourful look at twelve incredible Australian women who helped shape our country, from politics and the arts to Indigenous culture, science and more.

  • Fed Up - Gemma Hartley

    FED UP tackles the hard-hitting issues surrounding emotional labour: the historical underpinnings and roots in feminism, the benefits and burdens of this kind of effort, and the specific contexts where emotional labour, otherwise known as the 'mental load', plays a major but undervalued role, including relationships, work, sex, parenting, politics and self-care.

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