5 – GENDER EQUALITY

While the world has worked hard towards gender equality in areas such as equal access to primary education for girls and boys, women and girls continue to suffer from disadvantages. What do these disadvantages look like? They come in many forms, for example in some countries, girls are not sent to school but must help at home with housework, some girls are being married before they are 18 years old, women earn less money than men for the same job and are not equally represented in governments.

Providing women and girls with equal access to schools, medical services, well-paid work, and a role in politics will benefit society and humanity at large. We need laws to ensure equality in all these areas and end harmful practices targeting women to stop all gender-based discrimination which still exists in many countries.

Our new reading lists cover many of these topics and show brave girls and boys standing up for gender equality rights, so that everyone can enjoy the same opportunities.

The SDG Book Club makes content available in the six official languages of the United Nations – please see our other pages for more recommendations in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

On the importance of reading

Reading list

Serafina's Promise

Malala

Malala’s autobiography is immediately accessible to all ages, as it is written in an engaging style. Malala connects the reader to her life and her loving family before the shooting. She captures the wide reach of trauma that the incident caused, as well as her desire to live beyond her attack. The book is a good choice to address SDG 5, as it illustrates powerfully that the fight remains relevant and necessary for realising basic human rights for women and girls to have equal access to education, and the consequent access to opportunities for economic, social and political development. Malala’s story illustrates why the fight to ensure the eradication of harmful practices targeted at women is crucial to ending gender-based discrimination prevalent in many countries around the world.

Author: Malala Yousafzai | ISBN: 9781526361592 | Publisher: Hachette Childrens Group

Last Stop on Market Street

Bright sparks – amazing discoveries, inventions and designs by women

A beautifully designed compendium of women achievers, across time and in diverse fields. The reader is shown the impact these women have had on the world. While I think it a pity that photographs of the women weren’t included where possible, I think the graphic design and drawings will make this very appealing to tweens, and even younger readers (although the vocabulary would require some explanation to the very younger readers). The glossary of terms that accompanies each biography and section is very user-friendly for the older reader. This book addresses SDG 5 as it highlights in a unique style, the contribution women have made, which provides factual support in arguing for an end to gender discrimination that denies women equal access to education, and all that follows. The book illustrates why allowing women opportunities enriches all humanity.

Author and illustrator: Owen O’Doherty | ISBN: 9781788490542 | Publisher: O’Brien Press

Reading is a great way to better understand what people from across the globe struggle with in their everyday lives, and it helps us reflect on our own situation. But reading is just the first step: now it’s time to share your book club experiences and how you plan to take action. Each month, we will feature a couple of book clubs on our blog, so get ready to share your story through social media, by using #SDGBookClub and tagging @UNPublications.

Resources

We encourage you to host book club meetings around the world and share your photos via hashtag #SDGBookClub. If you would like to organize a public book club meeting, we recommend contacting your local book store, library or school and set it up with them. Please share the planned event on social media using #SDGBookClub and we will add it to the list of events. Click the button below to download our tips to organize a successful event!

How to organize your own book club

Help us spread the word by downloading our promotional materials. You will find a horizontal banner, bookmark, placard and easy-to-print sign-up sheet for your friends, family and community to join the SDG Book Club!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The SDG Book Club aims to use books as a tool to encourage children ages 6-12 to interact with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a curated reading list ofbooks from around the world related to each of the 17 SDGs in all six official UN languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

A selection committee works together to make the final selection for each of the 17 SDGs, in all six official UN languages —Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The selection committee consists of members from the United Nations, International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Librarian Associations (IFLA), European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBA), International Authors Forum (IAF), and International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

Fiction, non-fiction, and other genres that our panel thinks will help educate children about SDGs will be considered.

The reading list is meant for children ages 6-12. However, we encourage parents, educators, and everyone who is interested to read the selected books and help children understand the importance of the SDGs.

The reading list will be published during the first week of every month for 17 months, starting with Goal 1: No Poverty in April 2019 and culminating with Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals in September 2020 for the 5th anniversary of the SDGs.

Yes. Sign up on our homepage to get a monthly email on news and updates. Your privacy is important to us so we would never share your information with third parties or spam your inbox.

No. We do not intend to sell or promote the sale of the books featured in the reading list. If you chose to, you can buy the books online, wherever books are sold, or get a copy at your local bookstore or library.

You can post your thoughts and images on social media using the hashtag #SDGBookClub. Please tag/follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, there are book club meetings taking place all over the world. Check back for a link to the list! (Coming soon)

People can host book club meetings around the world and share their photos via #SDGBookClub. If you would like to organize a public book club meeting, we recommend contacting your local book store, library or school and set it up with them. Please share the planned event on social media using #SDGBookClub and we will add it to the list of events.

You can post feedback on our Facebook page or write an email to: publications@un.org.

We sincerely appreciate your interest. However, we are not currently accepting recommendations.

There are actions that you can take beyond just reading the books.

A/ Help your kids to create a poster with a photo or drawing and interesting facts about their favourite character(s) of the book.

B/ Design a reading scavenger hunt for kids using drawings and pictures instead of questions and help them search for things mentioned in the book.

C/ Help your kids write a letter to the local government representative and tell them what you learned in the book and ask them what action(s) they are taking toward a specific Goal.

D/ Organize a parent-child facilitated book discussion for younger kids. Invite your child’s friends and their parents to discuss a book from the reading list at your local library or children’s book store.

E/ Spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #SDGBookClub. We’d love to feature your pictures/videos on our social media.

You can find plenty of Student Resources here. You will find other books aimed at children, as well as the SDG board game. The game aims to help teach children around the world about the Sustainable Development Goals in a child-friendly and straightforward way.

Read to a Child campaign: A global campaign on reading to children to encourage literacy and global citizenship, incorporating the priorities youth and quality education. It is planned to take place in September 2020. More information to come. Please sign up to stay informed.

Organizers

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is a federation of publishing associations from around the world. The main mandate of the IPA is to promote and defend copyright, support the freedom to publish, promote literacy and reading. IPA is an accredited NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. IPA supports the SDGs and works particularly closely with WIPO and UNESCO.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland at an international conference, we celebrated our 90th birthday in 2017. We now have more than 1,300 Members in nearly 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971.

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the  world who are committed to bringing books and children together. Today IBBY comprises 79 National Sections worldwide.

The European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) represents national booksellers associations in the European Union and beyond. EIBF Members in turn have in membership booksellers of all kinds: brick and mortar bookshops, online bookshops, independents, chains.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) is the most important international trade fair of the children’s publishing industry. With over 50 years of experience, BCBF has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience: the result is the world’s premium copyright business hub when it comes to publishing with an extra core that extends to all multi-media content for children.