Reference Book of the Week: Women in Developing Countries

March is Women’s History Month, so I am highlighting some reference items related to women and women’s studies on the blog. This week I am featuring Women in Developing Countries: A Reference Handbook (link to library catalog). This is part of ABC-CLIO’s Contemporary World Issues series. The books in this series are designed, according to the publisher, to provide accurate, unbiased information on major topics. Books in this series are designed to be good research starting points for students, scholars, general readers, activists, legislators, and others.

“The purpose of the book is to provide a survey of the literature and other resources on the topic of women in developing countries and to provide sources for further research” (xv).

The book is arranged as follows:

  • Preface gives readers a brief description of the book’s scope and content.
  • The book includes a lists of developing countries; this helps define the book’s scope.
  • Chapter 1 provides background and historical information. Basic concepts are defined and discussed. We get a look at women’s status and experiences around the world, in a broad way, covering topics such as education, health care, and employment.
  • Chapter 2 goes over important specific issues and controversies.
  • Chapter 3 focuses on issues of concern in the United States.
  • Chapter 4 provides a chronology of key events in recent history of women in developing countries.
  • Chapter 5 offers a set of biographical sketches. These are short biographies of women who have played major roles in areas related to the subject ranging from politics to social activism and from local and international figures.
  • Chapter 6 is the statistics and data chapter. It also includes some texts and summaries of relevant U.N. conventions.
  • Chapter 7 is a listing of organizations, mostly NGO’s, government agencies, and government-affiliated organizations.
  • Note that Chapters 1-6 do include a list of references, which researchers can find useful for further reading.
  • Chapter 8 is an annotated bibliography of books and other materials related to women in developing countries.
  • There is also a glossary of terms, and the book includes an alphabetical index.

Students doing research on women’s issues, in the U.S. and abroad, with an interest in developing countries will find the book useful. The book provides an overview of topics, and it helps the reader find ways to expand research. In addition, as other reference books do, this book provides vocabulary, which can be used then in article database searching. Finally, students can use the bibliography to find additional sources of information. This is overall a nice volume that packs a lot of value and information for the researcher needing a starting point on this topic.

The book is located in the 2nd Floor Reference Collection of the library under call number 305.409 K557w 2011.

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