South Asian Supergirls: In a league of their own
Raj Kaur Khaira (pictured home page) was born in the UK, raised in Vancouver and Toronto, and now lives in London.
Her lifelong passion for gender equality led her to founding the Pink Ladoo Project in 2015. This innovative initiative, which encourages the equal treatment of new born girls in South Asian families, has attracted tens of thousands of followers in communities across Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. It has rapidly become one of the most prominent feminist movements for South Asian women globally, and propelled Raj to becoming an influential and credible thought-leader.
Her debut book, Stories for South Asian Supergirls, is a treasure trove of 50 illustrated biographies of amazing South Asian women. Having hit the headlines in the UK it has also found an audience with women and men of all ages. It has received great reviews including Children’s Book of the Week, The Times, and Older Children’s Books of the Month, The Observer. “Inspiring” is a word that appears in most reviews and it has been described as a “call to courage” that celebrates warrior queens of Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani heritage.
Through the inspirational stories of 50 famous as well as under-celebrated women from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, South Asian girls will have a chance to dream about lives for themselves that radically differ from the limited narratives and stereotypes written for them by their culture, wider society and the mainstream media.
Bringing together popular entertainers (Mindy Kaling, Lilly Singh, Norah Jones, Hannah Simone), pioneering business leaders (Indra Nooyi, Anjali Sud, Ruchi Sanghvi) and a host of other, equally remarkable yet less well known, figures (including the British Muslim spy Noor Inayat Khan; feisty suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh; Jayaben Desai and fearless activist, Pritam Kaur Hayre, who, at 93, is the oldest living woman in the book), Stories for South Asian Supergirls seeks to redress the imbalance for young girls of colour by empowering them to break new ground for themselves and to inspire others in the process.
It saddened her that she was astonished to learn of the achievements of some of these women for the first time, Raj writes in the introduction.
“I hope you are able to see the amazing legion of women you have descended from and can call your own.”
The Canadian contingent includes Pritam Kaur Hayre, Lilly Singh, Rupi Kaur, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Shaina Azad and Hannah Simone.
Illustrated with striking portraits by ten international South Asian female artists (including two Canadians Anu Chouhan and Sandeep Johal and an American), this is a book for all ages – the perfect gift that will be treasured by parents as much as their children will enjoy reading it. And the artists get their own page, too, sharing life lessons.
From Raj herself: “I love Yoda’s mantra: ‘There is no try, there is only do or do not’.”
It is particularly nice that the book on high-achieving South Asian women is for South Asian Supergirls “out there about to make their mark”.
Raj will be donating 100 per cent of her author proceeds to the charities that support women and children including The Canadian Women’s Foundation.
More info at www.kashihouse.com.
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