Reading list

If you are interested in finding out more about women’s rights and approaches to ending violence against women, feminism in Asia, or demographic trends, take a look at our current reading list.

The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights have progressed significantly in the last two decades, but major challenges remain in order to end global gender discrimination. The unfinished revolution: Voices from the global fight for women’s rights outlines the recent history of the battle to secure basic rights for women and girls, including in the Middle East. This anthology features essays by more than 30 writers, activists, policymakers and human rights experts, including Nobel laureates Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams.

The Future of Asian Feminisms: Confronting Fundamentalisms, Conflicts and Neo-liberalism

This book on the future of Asian feminism is a critical contribution to the rising voices of Asian women’s studies scholars. It is based on the ongoing research and advocacy work of the Kartini Asia Network, founded in 2003 in Manila. The chapters brought together in this volume demonstrate the great diversity of the transversal cultural flow that women’s movements within Asia provide. Members of the Kartini network stimulate the articulation of a particular Asian voice in women’s studies and in the global women’s movement.

Unnatural Selection

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China’s most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. In ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge: by the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have 24 million more men than women. The prognosis for China’s neighbours is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females “missing” from its population. Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability.

Men and Masculinities in Southeast Asia

This book brings together extensive recent innovative research on the study of men and masculinities in Southeast Asia. Drawing on rich ethnographic fieldwork from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Timor-Leste, the book examines both dominant and marginal constructions of heterosexual masculinity and the ways in which these are performed in different localized contexts in insular and mainland Southeast Asia.

Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population

What happens to a society that has too many men? In this provocative book, Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer argue that, historically, high male-to-female ratios often trigger domestic and international violence. Most violent crime is committed by young unmarried males who lack stable social bonds. Hudson and den Boer suggest that the sex ratios of many Asian countries, particularly China and India — which represent almost 40 percent of the world’s population — are being skewed in favor of males on a scale that may be unprecedented in human history.

Public Secrets of Law: Rape Trials in India

Sexual violence in general, and rape in particular, is under-reported in India. The social stigma associated with rape is the biggest hurdle that a rape survivor faces. This book, one of the first ethnographic studies of rape trials in India, focuses on the everyday socio-legal processes that underlie the making of rape trials. The work centres around four extended case studies in a trial court in Ahmedabad. These case studies show how the effects of power and knowledge congeal to disqualify women’s testimonies at different sites of state law such as the police station, forensic science laboratory, or the hospital and the court.

The Indonesian Supreme Court: A Study of Institutional Collapse

Since the fall of Indonesian president Suharto, a major focus of the country’s reformers has been the corrupt and inefficient judicial system. Within the context of a history of the Supreme Court in post-independence Indonesia, Sebastiaan Pompe analyzes the causes of the judiciary’s failure over the last five decades. This study provides an essential background to understand why legal reform has been so slow and frustrating in the post-1998 period.

Kartini: Complete Writings

In Indonesia, the legacy of Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879–1904) is celebrated on Kartini Day, 21 April, every year. Around the world Kartini is recognised as a major figure in the history of the advancement of women: a tireless and effective advocate of women’s education and emancipation. However, this is the first complete and unexpurgated collection of Kartini’s published articles, memoranda and correspondence ever published in any language.

Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

Reversed Realities uncovers the deeply entrenched, hence barely visible, biases which underpin mainstream development theory and account for the marginal status given to women’s needs in current development policy. Naila Kabeer traces the emergence of ‘women’ as a specific category in development thought and examines alternative frameworks for analysing gender hierarchies.

Penguin Atlas of Women of the World

Global events continue to reveal the importance of understanding how women live across continents and cultures. Using maps and graphics in this new revision of her eye-opening book, Joni Seager uses up-to-the-minute research and data to show what shifts have occurred in the ten years since the first edition was published – the strides made by women and the distance still to be travelled.

Waves in the Hinterland: The Journey of a Newspaper

In March 2004, a group of Dalit women from Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region stood on a stage in a plush Delhi auditorium. They were honoured with the Chameli Devi Award for outstanding media work. The women in question run Khabar Lahariya: an eight page bi-weekly with a print run of 3,000 in Chitrakoot and Banda districts. The paper’s readership includes farmers, panchayat members, schoolteachers, shopkeepers, anganwadi workers, labourers, government employees, journalists and housewives. This is their story.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

I come from a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. Shot in the head at point blank range while riding the bus home from school, few expected her to survive. But she did and has now become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Because I am a Girl

Seven authors have visited seven different countries and spoken to young women and girls about their lives, struggles and hopes. The result is an interesting collection of writings about prejudice, abuse, and neglect, but also about courage, resilience and changing attitudes. Proceeds from sales of this book to Plan International.