4 Must-Read Books to Learn About Women Worldwide

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

From a book to a documentary to a movement, Half the Sky is chock-full of inspiring stories of women fighting oppression. Written by the husband-wife team of Kristof and WuDunn the book centers on sex trafficking, microfinance, education, and sexual violence. It is a collection of women’s stories weaved together in a call for others to act. Half the Sky takes stories that otherwise would never reach an audience and gives them a strong foundation. It is inspiring and eye-opening to read about these women rising above the obstacles thrown at them in life.

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East

By Isobel Coleman

The Middle East has been in constant state of shift for decades. Coleman’s book discusses how Muslim women and men are pushing and fighting for women’s rights. In countries not know for their gender equality, Coleman tells stories of Islamic feminists and effective activists whose goals are to create political, educational, and economic power for women and girls. This issue is particularly interesting because of the balance between fighting for reform and accommodating the rich traditions of ancient cultures.

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

By Gail Collins

Starting off with a very comprehensive summary of the history of women in America from 1960 to now, Collins shows that not as much as we’d like to think has changed. Women tasks may have changed, but much of the gender inequality is still inexplicably there. The book flows with the stories of different women and their experiences of being women in America over the past 50 years. Collins shows that there is certainly positive change, with women running for office, fighting for their country, and taking leaps and bounds in gender equality, but that women are also humans with flaws.

The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World

Journalist Michelle Goldberg advocates how giving reproductive rights to women all over the world would help improve overpopulation, poverty, and the spread of disease. Not a simple topic, Goldberg does a fantastic job of connecting women’s personal choices to international politics. With stories ranging over four continents, this is a great reading choice for anyone with interests in health policy or women’s reproductive rights.

So expand your bookshelf and learn a few new things about your fellow women around the world. Also, did we miss anything? Let us know what books you think should be included on this list! Tweet us @legendarywomen to let us know what other books are out there!

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