Celebrating International Women's DayOn Wed, 8 March, 2023 - 13:00
Today is International Women’s Day. Marked annually since 1911, it’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
This year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity.’ Equity is not the same as equality. Both are important, but they are very different. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting books about women’s experience as practitioners and teachers of the Dharma.
I Hear Her Words: An Introduction to Women in Buddhism by Alice Collett
Is there gender equality in Buddhist traditions? What do Buddhist texts say about women? This book offers a new introduction to women in Buddhism, and gives unique access to the more rarely told histories of the many inspiring Buddhist women who fought against constraint. In this book we hear about and from many Buddhist women, disciples and teachers, their wisdom and their practice.
Daughters of the Buddha: Teachings by Ancient Indian Women by Bhikkhu Anālayo
Bhikkhu Anālayo examines the accounts of the first female disciples in the canonical scripture. He dedicates each chapter to an individual woman, sharing her insights and teachings with the reader. Both nuns and laywomen are featured in these pages, and their diversity of voices and richness of thought will serve as instruction and encouragement for modern scholars and practitioners alike.
Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master by Amy Schmidt
Dipa Ma was an inspired teacher of Buddhism and a devoted mother and grandmother. She found great freedom through profound levels of insight and exemplified immense kindness, generosity, and mindfulness. Through this unique account of a remarkable woman, together with the reminiscences of her students, many more aspiring practitioners will be inspired by her life and legacy.
The Fifty Years, Fifty Voices project has interviewed men and women who practise the Dharma in the Triratna community, which is unusual in having equal ordination. You can hear Jnanadakini, Maitripala, Aryadhi, Jayadevi, Vajratara, Karunadevi, Shraddhavajri and other women talking about their practice and life in the sangha.
Tiratanaloka has been supporting women who are training for ordination for twenty-one years, offering friendship, study and practice retreats to women across the UK, Europe and further afield. It has grown out of its building, and really needs a bigger space and team to support the many women who are inspired to make this commitment. You can help by donating or by running a fundraising event.
As a publisher, we’re working towards greater gender parity. Of our forty-eight authors in print, only a quarter are women. Many of our male authors have written more than one title, whereas most of our female authors have written just one title with us so far, which means that the title-by-title figures are even more out of balance.
Over the last while we have been publishing more books by women, including Subhadramati’s book on Buddhist ethics, Not About Being Good, and Vajradevi’s meditation and wisdom guide, Uncontrived Mindfulness. Many of the new titles we’re working on for publication over the next few years will be authored or co-authored by women. This will go some way to improving the balance and giving new voice to the precious Dharma.
We accept submissions for book manuscripts throughout the year, so please do get in touch if you have a book project in mind or have quietly been working away at your manuscript. We publish adult non-fiction books about Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness. We don’t generally publish biography or poetry.
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