Half The Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
A must-read introduction to health issues of women in developing countries, with an emphasis on India and Africa. The book focuses on maternal health, sex trafficking and violence. The authors prescribe education as the antidote to these issues.
Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali, by Kris Holloway
This is the fascinating story of the strong bond that develops between a Peace Corps volunteer and a health worker trained as a midwife in rural Mali. Monique Dembele approached her work as a midwife with tenacity, optimism, compassion and determination in a setting of often harsh socioeconomic, political, and climate conditions. Despite the struggles, Monique maintains her sense of humor and vivacity and is a source of friendship and inspiration to the author. Through this touching and personal memoir, the reader comes to understand barriers and challenges related to care for women and children in Mali, and the complex role of the Western outsider as an observer and participant in this setting.
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan
A young man who wishes to see the world decides to preface his planned adventures with a volunteer stint at an orphanage in Nepal, both to legitimize his travel plans and impress his peers. Upon arriving at the orphanage and getting to know the children however, the author's plans soon change as he becomes increasingly invested and attached to the children's history and future. Soon he makes the shocking discovery that the children are not in fact orphans, but "lost children" separated from the families by war, confusion, fear, and the cruel avarice of child traffickers. Grennan decides to form a foundation to reunite the children with their families and curb the flow of children to traffickers and undertakes a treacherous journey through the mountainous countryside.
A Closer Walk by Robert Bilheimer
A look at HIV/AIDS on four continents, including the United States, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. The burden of HIV/AIDS on impoverished women is well addressed.
The Day I Will Never Forget by Kim Longinotto
This is a fascinating documentary of the practice of female circumcision. Filmed in Nairobi, it focuses on Somali women and attempts to present a balanced portrayal between the cultural reasons supporting the practice with why the practice can be considered to be violence against women.