The American Association of University Women's

AAUW International Affairs Committee: Reading List

Use this website at Barnes and Noble and you will receive a discount on your order while also making a donation to AAUW. This reflects no cost to you but is a donation to AAUW.

Abbassi, Jennifer and Sheryl L. Lutjens, eds.,

Rereading Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Political Economy of Gender

A compilation of articles on women's issues by Latin American and Latin Americanist scholars (mostly women). Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Purple Hibiscus. This debut novel by a talented Nigerian writer tells the story of a 15-year old girl growing up in the power of a father who is a "Big Man" seen as a pillar of society and philanthropist by his community but is an abusive tyrant at home, and of her painful emergence as a courageous young woman. . Ahmed, Leila: Women and Gender in Islam. This is an excellent historical review of the role women have played in Islamic societies across the centuries. A professor of women's studies at the University of Massachusetts when the book was written, in 1999 Ahmed, who is Egyptian, was appointed the first professor of women's studies in religion at the Harvard Divinity School.

Albright, Madeleine:

Madam Secretary

The autobiography of the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, this is a very readable presentation of both her personal story as a woman leading our foreign policy, and the issues with which she dealt as Secretary of State. Betancourt, Ingrid: Until Death do us Part; My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia. Written before Betancourt was kidnapped by leftist guerillas in 2002 (she was rescued recently after 6 years in captivity), this book concentrates on her political career, first as a Representative and then as a Senator in the Colombian Legislature.

Gildersleeve, Virginia:

Many a Good Crusade

The former Dean of Barnard College, Virginia Gildersleeve was for many years the International Relations Chair of AAUW and its predecessor. Along with colleagues from Great Britain and Canada, she founded the International Federation of University Women in the aftermath of World War I in an effort to foster peace. She later served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the San Francisco Conference which founded the United Nations.

Glendon, Mary Ann:

A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

As chair of the Human Rights Commission convened by the United Nations in 1947 to draft the Declaration, Eleanor Roosevelt used all of her skills to bring such unlikely partners as France, the USSR, Nationalist China, and others together to write a document which all could sign.

Hirsi Ali, Ayaan:


The personal journey of an Islamic woman born in Somalia whose life led from a traditional childhood in Africa through rebellion against an unwanted marriage arranged by her father to refuge and citizenship in Holland, where she became a Member of Parliament and a passionate advocate for the rights of Moslem women. Hunt, Swanee: This Was Not Our War. This book offers the moving testimonies of 26 women who survived Bosnia's ethnic upheavals. Hunt, as the U.S. Ambassador to Austria in the 1990s, hosted some of the Bosnian peace discussions and has maintained her concern for the region through Women Waging Peace. She is now Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Ilibagiza, Imaculee:

Left to Tell

At 22, Ilibagiza and 7 other women spent 91 days in hiding in the bathroom of a Hutu pastor's home while the Rwandan genocide raged outside and her family was murdered. She credits her strong Catholic faith for her ability not only to survive but to forgive her family's killers. One needn't share her religious faith to be moved by her compelling story.

Kohut, Andrew and Bruce Stokes:

America Against the World

This compendium of global public opinion surveys attempts to answer the questions of how we are differentfrom, and why we are disliked in, other countries, from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Maathai, Wangari:

Unbowed: A Memoir

In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people's environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya's forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country.

Mortenson, Greg and David Oliver Relin:

Three Cups of Tea

When Mortenson was nursed to life in a remote Himalayan village following a failed attempt to climb K-2, he vowed to return and build the village a school, which turned out to be the first of many. Nafisi, Azar: Reading Lolita in Tehran. In this memoir, written by a retired university professor, a small group of female students examined forbidden Western fiction in the safety of her home.

Sadat, Jehan:

A Woman of Egypt

The widow of Anwar Sadat, former President of Egypt who was assassinated by Moslem extremists, tells her story. Mrs. Sadat was the keynote speaker at AAUW's 2005 Convention.

Twist, Lynne:

The Soul of Money

An international activist who has worked with the Hunger Project, Twist examines how our attitudes toward money affect our view of the world. She proposes that consciously working to change these attitudes can empower us to make a difference in the lives of others, and make our own lives more meaningful.

Walker, Alice:

Possessing the Secret of Joy

A novel written around the issue of female genital mutilation in West Africa by the author of The Color Purple. Walker tells a good story which at the same time informs the reader about the issues surrounding FGM and what it does to the lives of women.

Wintle, Justin:

Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Daughter of Aung San, father of Burma's independence movement, who was assassinated in 1947, Suu Kyi was educated in England and eventually married there. However, her deeply-held sense of obligation to continue her father's work and to bring democracy to a country long ruled by a repressive military regime led her to return home to actively work toward that end, putting herself forward as a candidate for president. Placed under house arrest whenever the government felt threatened by her work and still confined, Suu Kyi is perhaps the world's best known prisoner of conscience; she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Use this website at Barnes and Noble and you will receive a discount on your order while also making a donation to AAUW. This reflects no cost to you but is a donation to AAUW.

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