6 Books for Teachers to Celebrate National Women’s Equality Day

National Women’s Equality Day in the U.S., which falls annually on August 26, represents and commemorates the 1920 passing of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. It signifies the struggle and battle of women’s suffrage and highlights the voices of the women across the nation who fought for their right to vote and continue to fight for a more equal, inclusive society. 

While women have historically paved the way for gender equality—making extensive progress, Smarter Balanced recognizes the importance of supporting the conversation of gender equality and emphasizing how continual efforts are needed to foster a more equitable society.

Smarter Balanced is celebrating National Women’s Equality Day with a reading list—highlighting women’s voices and the challenges they have faced in the field of education. We hope the following stories inspire you and empower you with strategies to help bridge the gaps between gender and equality.

  1. Women in Higher Education: Empowering Change
    by JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz
    Publisher Description
    More women are receiving advanced degrees and ascending to the ranks of deans, provosts, and presidents, but despite gains in advancing gender equality, efforts at true empowerment are still met with significant resistance within academia. The contributors to this collection are committed to promoting the issue of gender and empowering women in higher education.

    The approach of this book is both theoretical and applied. On one level it evaluates pedagogy from the perspective of what we teach, how we teach, and curriculum development that enables and empowers women. On the other level it examines the institutional barriers that continue to exist that thwart the educational development of women while also examining the areas in which institutional support does promote efforts toward change.

    Women are the growing majority population, yet women in higher education are not provided an equal education. This book includes strategies for change, teaching suggestions, and curriculum development ideas
  1. Women of Color in Higher Education: Turbulent Past, Promising Future
    by Gateane Jean-Maries
    Publisher Description
    Historically, women of color have experienced discrimination based on the double jeopardy of race and/or ethnicity, and gender in their quest for access and advancement in higher education. Today’s women of color in higher education however are the beneficiaries of courageous and committed women predecessors who confronted and disrupted institutions to attain a higher level of education (Jean-Marie, 2005). Together with Volume 10, this two-edited volume focuses on African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Asian-Pacific American women whose increased presence in senior level administrative and academic positions in higher education is transforming the political climate to be more inclusive of women of color.

    Topics include trends and issues, leadership styles/characteristics, tenure and promotion, mentoring/social networks, and challenges and opportunities. As a conceptual framework, the collection of chapters in the two volumes acquaints readers with a broad overview of the characteristics and experiences of women of color in higher education. The two volumes include: “Women of Color in Higher Education: Turbulent Past, Promising Future” and “Women of Color in Higher Education: Contemporary Perspectives and Changing Directions”.
  1. The Education Feminism Reader
    by Lynda Stone
    Publisher Description
    The Education Feminism Reader is an anthology of the most important and influential essays written in feminist education theory since the late seventies. Attentive to the quality and diversity of this growing field, The Reader presents the thinking of traditionally liberal feminists, radical postmodern theorists, women of color and those feminists with psychological, philosophical and political agendas.
  1. Yale Needs Women
    by Asnne Gardiner Perkins
    Publisher Description
    In the winter of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating “one thousand male leaders” each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation’s top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women’s equality in education.

    Or was it?

    The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale’s imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Yale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backward-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future. Anne Gardiner Perkins’s unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today.
  1. Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia
    by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs
    Publisher Description
    Presumed Incompetent is a pathbreaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. Through personal narratives and qualitative empirical studies, more than 40 authors expose the daunting challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education, including hiring, promotion, tenure, and relations with students, colleagues, and administrators. The narratives are filled with wit, wisdom, and concrete recommendations, and provide a window into the struggles of professional women in a racially stratified but increasingly multicultural America.
  1. Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia
    by Yolanda Flores Niemann
    Publisher Description
    The courageous and inspiring personal narratives and empirical studies in Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia name formidable obstacles and systemic biases that all women faculty—from diverse intersectional and transnational identities and from tenure track, terminal contract, and administrative positions—encounter in their higher education careers. They provide practical, specific, and insightful guidance to fight back, prevail, and thrive in challenging work environments. This new volume comes at a crucial historical moment as the United States grapples with a resurgence of white supremacy and misogyny at the forefront of our social and political dialogues that continue to permeate the academic world.