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From Bijan & Manije by Marjan Vafaeian

Happy International Women’s Day!

By Meghan Sullivan

Happy International Women’s Day! Last week I heard a story from a family friend which made me so angry. She said that when her child was taken to hospital and she went along with the child’s dad all the questions were directed to her. When the dad tried to talk to the doctor he was ignored, and the doctor continued to focus on the mum. This story shows that we still live in a society with incredibly fixed ideas about male and female roles. Women are mums and men are men. Compared to other stories about discrimination, this one isn’t life-changing. No-one got hurt. But it does show that even today there is a huge amount of discrimination which seeps into our everyday lives.

Our world should be one without discrimination of gender, race, nationality, or wealth. Perhaps the place to start creating this world is children and the books that they read. Teaching children about the need for equality from a young age could help them to understand the importance of love and tolerance. Reading diverse books where gender roles are turned on their heads teaches children that they can be whatever they want to be, regardless of whether they are a boy or a girl. At Tiny Owl we are trying to empower women and girls with our books.

Some of the empowered women in our books

Children can also benefit from hearing strong female voices from across the world. Books with intercultural partnerships which bring empowered female voices from different countries into the UK are a stepping stone for this goal. At Tiny Owl we’ve fostered many intercultural partnerships; from Iranian illustrator Marjan Vafaeian to American poet Eloise Greenfield. But there always needs to be more books, from more voices, until there is complete equality. There is a long journey ahead of us, and we need to go on it together. Men with women, adults with children. A more peaceful, happier, and loving society can only happen when women’s rights are respected. So, to echo the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, let’s press for progress together with our children.

Meghan Sullivan is the Publisher’s Assistant at Tiny Owl

Buy The Parrot and Merchant

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Buy Bijan and Manije

  • Read all about last year’s International Women’s Day
  • Check out a lovely interview from our publisher Delaram Ghanimifard about diverse society

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