Despite it being labelled as a book for children, Women in Battle caught my eye not only because of its stunning illustrated cover, but for its concept. Books to empower women are everywhere right now, and most bookshops I’ve been into recently have a wall of female writers talking about women’s issues. None I have read so far have dealt with the history of women in quite this way, going as far back at times as 600 BCE.
Jumping through history, this beautiful book looks at women’s struggle for voting rights, contraceptive rights, even the right to speak and have a voice. It was a fascinating reminder of how far society has come in – most chillingly – a tiny, tiny period of history. When I consider that I have met relatives in my lifetime who were alive when the United Kingdom gave women the right to vote, you understand just how recent the struggle is.
And it isn’t even over yet. The world is still rife with abuse and inequality – there are still women suffering unfairly. I feel so fortunate to have lived my life in an environment that makes me feel valued and free. Women in Battle makes you appreciate just how incredible change can be. But there’s still a long way to go yet, and it is important to keep reading these books, and listening to today’s great voices.