26th of August: Women’s Equality Day

English · 26 August 2022

First introduced in 1971, Women’s Equality Day commemorates the adoption of the nineteenth amendment in 1920. This change in the US Constitution granted women the right to vote, marking an important stride in the movement towards gender equality. To this day, equality and women’s rights remain incredibly relevant and important themes that need to be discussed with students. These pieces of literature can help spark the discourse around gender equality and discrimination in the EFL classroom:

  • Top Girls by Caryl Churchill: This empowering play about power, masculinity and femininity explores roles and opportunities for women in modern society. Set in London during the early 1980s, the play follows Marlene, an ambitious, career-driven businesswoman who made irreversible sacrifices for her success. The drama raises the question: Must one ‘pass as a man’ to be successful as a woman?
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: A dystopian novel on gender, sex, fertility, rebellion, and love. In the near future, most women have become infertile and the USA have transformed into a theocracy where women are either the wives of party officials, in charge of the household, or have to take part in a bizarre ritual. Offred is one of them, a “handmaid”, a woman whose sole purpose is to bear children for the elites in the post-apocalyptic, theocratic society of Gilead. Soon she finds out the true hypocrisy of the religious leaders who control her life.

Do you have a favorite book or film that made you reflect on gender roles and equality? We would love to hear your suggestions!

Happy Women’s Equality Day, and take care!