Women's Rights

Try to narrow your research to a particular country or topic. You might start by finding an entry in a print encyclopedia or by reading a short, general book. This will give you an overview and help you to refine your search. Check out the starting your research project page before you begin! 

Some possible subject areas for women's rights include:
female genital mutilation
the battle over the veil in French public schools
polygamy in the U.S.
U.S. policy on third world funding for birth control

We can't fit every resource about women's rights on to this list! A topic guide is just the beginning of building your bibliography.

Reference materials

This is the place to start any research project. Reference books offer short, authoritative information on every topic. These books must be used in the library. Most contain bibliographies of important books on your topic. If you are interested in women's rights in a particular country, check:

Ember and Ember, ed. (2001). Countries and their cultures. REF 306.03 C83 2001
Gall, Timothy. (1998). Worldmark encyclopedia of cultures and daily life. REF 305.8 89 1998
Gall, Timothy. (2004). Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations. REF 910.3 W89

We also have reference books that focus on particular regions. Look for women's rights topics in the indexes of these resources:

Gin, Ooi. (2004). Southeast Asia. REF 959.003 SOU Look at the index in volume 3 under women, sexuality, family, education.
Izady, Mehrdad. (1992). The Kurds: a concise handbook. REF 956.0049 Iz1 1992
Middleton,John. (2002). Africa: an encyclopedia for students. REF 960.03 Af8 2001 Check under education, family, gender roles and sexuality in volume 2.


Books about women's rights will be found at 305.4. Interested in women's rights in a particular country? Look for books on that country and check the index for topics related to women. Islamic women? Look for books on Islam and then check the index.

Benard, Cheryl. (2002). Veiled courage: inside the Afghan women's resistance. 305.42 B43 2002 286 pages.
Chang, Pang-Mei. (1996). Bound feet and western dress. 305.42 C36 1996 215 pages.
Hernandez and Rehman. (2002). Colonize this! Young women of color on today's feminism. 305.42 C71 2002 403 pages.
Harik and Marston. (2003). Women in the Middle East. 305.42 H22 2003 192 pages.
Korn, Fadumo. (2006). Born in the big rains: a memoir of Somalia and survival. 305.48 K84 2006 183 pages.


For these Gale Group Resources, use the subject guide search tab (upper left) to tailor a search. For example, for information on the veil, use the subject terms: Muslim Women, Islamic Clothing, Islamic Culture, Hijab, Veils. Talk to one of the librarians for help with search terms.
General OneFile
Expanded Academic ASAP
Student Edition
Academic OneFile
Issues and Controversies
SIRS Use the Subject Heading Search to create a term to reflect your research goals.
Facts on File For pre-search, biographies, primary sources and images.

Internet sites

Amnesty International Read about AI's initiatives to halt violence against women.
Equality Now An organization that documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support their efforts to stop these human rights abuses.
Global issues: women's rights Maintained by a well-informed and conscientious amateur, this site offers a current overview of women's rights issues around the world and many authoritative links.
Human Rights Watch A 30 year old independent organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Check here for information on their initiatives on women's rights.
UN Division for the Advancement of Women Click on Country Reports on the left for current information on the elimination of discrimination against women in each country reporting to this division. Choose the country by the first letter of its name.

BPL: Electronic Resources

PAIS International. For scholarly articles on political issues related to women's rights
Sociological Abstracts. For scholarly articles related to women's lives throughout the modern world