Books and literature are an important tool to address gender inequalities and prevent gender-based violence. People and communities use stories to understand the world and their place in it. Stories are also embedded with power – the power to explain and justify the way things are, as well as the power to make change imaginable and urgent.
When examining power in society it is important to consider which stories define the current beliefs and behaviors; where these stories came from; whose stories were ignored or removed to make way for the current ways of being and, most importantly, what new stories can be told to create the world we desire.
Nal’ibali believes that prevention efforts must be aimed at both girls and boys and that it should start early in life through the sharing of stories that promote gender equality.
The following South African books featuring strong female characters were recommended by City of Cape Town Library and Information Services.
Early years (3 – 8 years)
Mizz President by Mapule Mohulatsi
Wanda by Sihle Nontshokweni (Also available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu)
Dudu’s basket by Dianne Stewart (Also available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu)
Together we’re strong by Liesl Jobson (Also available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi and Sesotho)
It’s Jamela by Niki Daly
My sister is an alien by Rachel Bright (Also available in Afrikaans)
Meisies kan enige iets doen deur Caryl Hart
Moenie met ‘n prinses mors nie, deur Rachel Valentine
Prinses Pampoenpit deur Bianca Flanders
Once upon a time by Niki Daly
Intermediate (8 – 12 years)
Zinzi en Saffraan deur Asia Citro
The blacksmith and the dragonfly by Riana Louw
Balaclava Boy by Jenny Robson
Teen (12 years +)
The worst year of my life so far by Sarah Britten
Pienk is nie vir sisssies nie by Christien Neser
Tata sikuxolele! by Thembisile Kundlwana