Global Women's Issues: Women in the World Today, extended version
Janni Aragon, University of Victoria
Mariel Miller, University of Victoria
Copyright Year: 2012
ISBN 13: 9781622399253
Conditions of Use
The book is comprehensive in the range of issues it addresses, but falls short in the coverage of these issues. The main issues one would want to address--education, health, poverty, armed conflict, the environment, power and decision-making,... read more
The book is comprehensive in the range of issues it addresses, but falls short in the coverage of these issues. The main issues one would want to address--education, health, poverty, armed conflict, the environment, power and decision-making, etc.--are for the most part included. However, the text is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, United States Department of State, and this shows in the approach to the subject matter, with what feels like a top down perspective and much weight given to governmental international development efforts.
The information presented seems accurate, though as mentioned elsewhere in this review, dated and presenting an incomplete understanding of the issues.
This is one of the biggest problems with this text. It is woefully out of date--the structure itself is based on the twelve issues of concern emanating from the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference, and frequently mentions the Millennium Development Goals (since replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015). It is also lacking in discussion of some basic theoretical frameworks central to the overarching topic—a transnational perspective highlighting the interconnectedness of North and South (beyond the work of aid organizations); the importance of an intersectional approach to understanding how gendered experience is shaped by factors such as age, ethnicity, religion, family status, disability, race, and social class (though these do receive some consideration); and frameworks like WID (Women in Development) as compared to GAD (Gender and Development) that have guided the international development work germane to so many topics addressed in the text. The best of the “Profile” and “Project” sections describe work at the grassroots and community levels, such as the piece on COMUCAP in Honduras in Chapter 1, highlighting the links between economic independence and women’s increased status in the family, resulting in a reduction in domestic violence. The “Additional Resources” sections at the ends of each chapter often have the most interesting information (in the form of URLs), though the most recent of these are usually 2016. It is unfortunate that when the text was updated in 2017, some new material was added but old information was not refreshed and brought up to date. The sections that make up the chapters are often more superficial than I would like for my students, even at a lower division undergraduate level.
The prose is clear and accessible overall--mostly written like Time magazine.
The text is fairly consistent throughout. Some discussion and essay questions at the end of the chapters seem to ask for information not covered in the chapters (such as how transgender women are portrayed in the media) or use concepts that need additional background for students to answer in a meaningful way (neoliberalism, non-state actors versus government programming).
It would be very easy to pull one chapter, or even one section of a chapter, for use to supplement materials on a given topic. Each chapter is made up of a few "articles" written by different authors, so each of those chapter sections can function as a stand-alone reading.
Organization is very straightforward; chapters and the sections within them are clearly delineated.
Both the html and pdf online versions seemed easy enough to navigate.
No errors jumped out at me.
There is no discussion of LGBTQ or disability issues at all. Some end of chapter references are provided for transgender issues, none for disability. As described above, there is little to no attention to transnational connections between North and South. Many of the profiles seem to highlight elite individuals, whether within their own countries or on the world stage.
Given my concerns about dated material and the lack of current theoretical perspectives in gender and women's studies, this text in its entirety would not be a good fit for my own class (Gender in Global Perspective). I might, however, pull a chapter section here and there to supplement other materials. The resource lists at the ends of each chapter and the discussion and essay questions can also be useful references.
The text makes explicit that it will cover all the 12 critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Declaration in 1995, and it does. As noted by other reviewers, focusing primarily on women's experiences in developing nations and the Global... read more
The text makes explicit that it will cover all the 12 critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Declaration in 1995, and it does. As noted by other reviewers, focusing primarily on women's experiences in developing nations and the Global South should be made discussed when teaching this text and supplemental materials provided to students. The text also highlights state and non-profit actors within individuals countries to offer successful solutions. Instructors should consider making connections for students between grassroots activism around the globe and their collective solutions. While there are key terms introduced in each chapter, there is no index or glossary.
As mentioned in other reviews, some of the content is dated and will need a refresh. I would not say the content is biased; however, it is filtered through a particular lens to fit the overall frame of the book. For example, in the chapter on Women and Poverty, the emphasis on social entrepreneurship and microfinance as the solution without a critique of capitalism . Although there is a discussion question posed related to the market as the most effective means of addressing poverty, it needs further exploration throughout the course.
The overall content is relevant, and the organization of the text is arranged in a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy to implement. The organization of gender according to a female-male binary is problematic, and at times, essentialist. Certain sections could be easily updated to current day issues (i.e., Women and Health to include the differential impact of the COVID crisis and the inequities across the global)
The text is written with clarity and provides adequate context for the terms used in each chapter.
The text is internally consistent in its flow and organization. There is predictability in what the reader can expect chapter to chapter and the profiles add a refreshing change to the usual textbook format.
The text is divided in such a way that an instructor could use smaller reading sections to fit their approach to global women’s issues. I could even see the use of single chapters in courses across the curriculum (i.e., women and the media in a journalism course)
The topics in the text are presented as expected and in order of the critical areas of concerns identified by the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action.
I was able to read the book through the online interface in Safari with no significant issues. A minor navigation concern is when you click on a resource link that does not open in a new page.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
As mentioned above, and in another reviewer’s comments, the use of gender in the text as a strict female/male binary should be critiqued in the classroom.
The book seems fairly comprehensive in its global scope, though as other reviewers have noted, there is an almost exclusive focus on developing nations and the Global South, which might seem to imply that women in developed nations and the Global... read more
The book seems fairly comprehensive in its global scope, though as other reviewers have noted, there is an almost exclusive focus on developing nations and the Global South, which might seem to imply that women in developed nations and the Global North are not still struggling. I do not believe there is an index or glossary, and there definitely should be one. I also did not see any references to the specific issues that Pacific Island/Polynesian women face.
I believe some statistics are verging on outdated, but as far as providing a snapshot of the information within the last decade, this seems well done. Having specific numbers to point to when discussing global women's experiences - such as how one in three women worldwide has experienced abuse, assault, or sexual violence - is incredibly useful when teaching this subject. I like that there are brief author bios at the end of every section, so that students can get a sense of how the author's background might position them to approach any given topic. This is minor, but in the chapter on women in the economy, the profiled activist was from Saudi Arabia, and the author failed to mention the highly restrictive laws that might have had some impact on why so few women were in the workforce (e.g. until the last year or so, it was illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, and I imagine that would make it difficult to get to one's hypothetical job). Small quirks like this omission make me wonder if the content could be framed in a better way.
As noted above, it would probably be helpful to update some of the statistics and demographic information in the near future. Since it's a somewhat long text, these updates might be difficult to implement.
The book is very readable and is written in plain language. The use of extensive quotes from personal narratives - when innovators in a given field, or survivors of a particular crisis, are interviewed - helps make the text even more accessible.
Overall the book is consistent; however, there are a couple minor issues that make it apparent that the book (which I read online) was once just a physical version (e.g. a reference to a page number in one of the supplementary sections, which would not exist in the online version). Also, it is unclear to me how the key terms at the top of every chapter were selected; some are names and some are concepts, while some seem drawn from the specific case studies and others seem crucial to understanding the topic at hand. There probably should have been a subject index at the end, too. Additionally, I noticed that in some of the quizzes at the end of each chapter, the answer choices were numbered (1, 2, 3, etc.) but in the answer key they were letters instead (A, B, C, etc.). It's easy enough for the reader to figure out the discrepancy, but that also means it'd be an easy enough fix for the authors or editors.
I believe it would work well to assign a chapter or two at a time, in order to supplement other class materials. Students would not need to have read the preface or the whole rest of the book to get something out of individual chapters, since the chapters do not reference other chapters extensively. It would also be possible to take a more innovative approach to assigning the text, and have students read, for example, all the profiles of women leaders in the book to start a conversation about activism.
There is consistent organization among the chapters, which is helpful, but there does not seem to be any clear reason as to why the chapters appear in the order that they do (or, further, why women and poverty is its own chapter apart from women in the economy, though I agree that women and poverty definitely needs to be covered extensively in a book like this one).
I primarily read the book through the online interface, which functioned just fine. Reading it from my computer screen allowed me to see the pictures crisply and in color, and I'm not sure if the other interfaces provide that as easily.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
The book is highly relevant - after all, it chronicles the problems that roughly half the world's population faces on a regular basis, to varying degrees of severity. However, I wish the authors had unpacked their use of gendered terms a bit more, since it can come across as essentializing and biologically deterministic to assume that there is a complete overlap between biological womanhood and social womanhood (not that any of these categories are set in stone). I would have also liked to see a little more attention to the struggles of transgender women globally, since in many cases under patriarchy, transmisogyny operates much the same as misogyny. I also wonder if it should simply be assumed that this book will contain traumatic and potentially triggering materials given the nature of the topic, or if specific sections should have a brief content note up top (e.g. "This section contains specific descriptions of sexual violence"). I understand that we cannot provide trigger warnings for everything our students may encounter in our classrooms or in the world, but given my knowledge of how trauma works, it's often helpful for a student with a trauma history to have a heads-up about whether material will be in roughly that ballpark or not, so the student can prepare and get some self-care lined up, or alternately, decide that it's not a good time (now or possibly ever) to engage with this topic, since flashbacks can be intensely painful and may derail a student's ability to be present enough to learn.
I teach an Intro to Women's and Gender Studies with a subtitle "Women in the World." Finding a text that is truly global -- not just the global north or the global south -- and easy for students to read/comprehend is difficult, likely because... read more
I teach an Intro to Women's and Gender Studies with a subtitle "Women in the World." Finding a text that is truly global -- not just the global north or the global south -- and easy for students to read/comprehend is difficult, likely because covering all women everywhere is an enormous task. I had high hopes for this text, but it is ultimately one of those (like *Half the Sky*) that calls itself global, but focuses mainly on developing nations. When students in an intro course read a text like this that claims to be global, but mostly covers "problems" in developing nations, it reinforces their ideas that sexism and sexist oppression are things that happen "in other countries" and not here in the United States.
One of the copyright holders is the U.S. State Department and sources include the CIA. , which may explain why the United States is mostly left out of discussion of issues like "Violence Against Women" or "Women, Girls, and Armed Conflict." I like to teach my students that we need to amplify women's voices and understand the lenses through which those voices are filtered. The "voice" of an Iraqi refugee filtered through the U.S. State Department, for example, may not be entirely "authentic."
Preface and overview are by Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Vereer; copyright is by, presumably, the first Obama State Department, which would make the text at least 8 years out of date. Updates from Kerry and the four subsequent Trump appointees should be easily obtained, but possibly not desirable.
The text is easy to navigate, readable, and visually appealing. Key terms are listed immediately after a brief intro to each chapter, giving readers a "heads up" in case there is something they might not know.
There is both a shared language and structure as you move through the text.
While structure and tone are consistent throughout the text, the reading is not necessarily scaffolded. Each of the 12 chapters could stand alone or be read in a different order without any sense of confusion as they do not necessarily refer backward or forward, rather they cover only what's in the chapter title.
The text uses a typical, thus easily recognizable, format: About, Intro/Preface, Chapters, Conclusion, Bibliography. While the chapters could stand alone, or be rearranged, the current order is fine. Though some topics like "Women and Poverty" (Chapter 1) could be placed closer to others, such as "Women in the Economy" (Chapter 6).
While browser and/or format (online/PDF/.txt) might create a different experience for different users, I found the online version (using chrome) to be pleasant to navigate. I also opened the text in safari on an iPhone XR and had a similar experience, though the (left) margins in some cases were off a bit. The ability to increase font size was a nice feature. The editable .txt that I downloaded had some image issues. The first image, for example, seemed to be stretched a bit horizontally. The font changes on the first few pages were also a bit distracting, being an editable text, though, an instructor could easily change that.
While I did not do a line-by-line edit, the text seemed to be mostly error free, though making decision-making one word seemed an odd choice.
Again, leaving most of the world's white women out of the text, as if violence against them, poverty, health concerns, etc. are not problems in the "West" is problematic, as is, filtering the voices and views of women in the developing world through the U.S. government.
The book is comprehensive and covers in detail the issues affect women globally that emerged from the 4th U.N. World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in September of 1995. The range of issues discussed in the book is extensive. The... read more
The book is comprehensive and covers in detail the issues affect women globally that emerged from the 4th U.N. World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in September of 1995. The range of issues discussed in the book is extensive. The new and extended version of this book added a chapter summary, key words, multiple choice questions, discussion questions, essay questions, and a list of additional resources to each chapter. What is missing is a subject index at the end of the book.
The book accurately reports on the issues from the World Conference of Women and accurately reflects many of the issues that are of concern to women today.
The overall issues that are discussed in the book are still current and relevant concerns of women today. The statistical data, however, that is shared is a bit outdated.
The layout of the book is very easy to read and maneuver. The addition of actual case studies to support the issue being discussed shows the relevance and impact the issue has had on women as well as how women in various countries have begun to address the issue.
The framework is consistent from chapter to chapter. Each chapter begins with an overview as well as a summary and a listing of key terms. The issue and its importance to women is discussed. Profiles and projects that are relevant and support each issue follow the discussion. The chapter ends with various assessments (multiple choice questions, discussion question, essay questions) that can be used as well as additional resources that can be explored.
Chapters are easily readable and each could be considered a separate module. The material can be taken in sequence or reorganized as desired to meet course needs.
Very clear, easy to follow and to read. Each chapter follows the same format when addressing each issue. Text is broken up into segments. Pictures in each chapter help to support the issue as well as break up consistent text.
The text has images but they actually support and do not detract from the intent of the book and the issues it discusses.
No grammatical errors
The text refers to issues that affect women globally. As such, the book introduces the issue from various cultural perspectives of women.
This is a great resource book on the global issues affecting women. Although the book provides an overall good discussion of each issue and some cultural perspectives of each issue, it doesn't discuss in any detail some of the underlying conceptual frameworks that affect gender bias and which continue to support bias.
This book is a comprehensive overview on an in depth subject. The author does a nice job of touching on one subject per chapter. This is perfect for an undergraduate intro class on Global Women's issues since most of the chapters can be an... read more
This book is a comprehensive overview on an in depth subject. The author does a nice job of touching on one subject per chapter. This is perfect for an undergraduate intro class on Global Women's issues since most of the chapters can be an entire semester long course.
For now the information appears to be accurate. Things change so quickly in this field that it is hard to remain accurate for most printed texts. I think this format allows better accuracy for this subject due to the ability to edit and add on information. I also think it is challenging to be unbiased on these issues, the writing of the content in and of itself is biased.
I think it is written in a way that necessary updates can be easily added in order for the text to stay relevant.
I love the style in which this book has been written, the combination of information, statistics, first hand stories and inspiration people in the field is ideal. It makes it easy to read and understand , even if the information is new..
It seems very consistent.
Each chapter is a perfect length. Within the chapter you can also break down the subheadings and assign accordingly with your class.However, none of the chapters are so long that they need to be broken down. It seems quite easy to reorganize.
It flows very well and is completely logical.
I had no problems with the interface.
Yeah, grammar is not my strength so.... Looked good to me.
This text did a terrific job of being culturally relevant and inclusive. The subject is one that needs to be so it is not surprising that the author brought in stories, examples and facts from several different cultures, SES, race, religion and genders.
I very strongly feel that as far as comprehensiveness is concerned, this book does a good job. I specialize in women's health and primarily work in the area of women and children with a special emphasis on girl child. What I really like about this... read more
I very strongly feel that as far as comprehensiveness is concerned, this book does a good job. I specialize in women's health and primarily work in the area of women and children with a special emphasis on girl child. What I really like about this book is that it covers varied areas related to women, such as education, health, media, and employment. Usually I come across books that focus on one or may 2-3 areas, but this book is different in the sense it provides material of different aspects of teaching or working on women issues.
I would say that material mentioned in this book is more or less accurate. However, more data from various international data bases and other related sources could have supplemented the pictures and stories presented across the book.
Yes I would say the book is relevant and can be used for a longer period of time. Instructors planning to adapt this book will need to supplement information presented in this book along with data and other snippets from online sources.
One of the features I have liked about this book is the clarity of material being presented. One suggestion I will have for a book of this kind will be to have more stories and interviews from the beneficiaries. This will make the content even stronger and some thing that audiences will be able to relate to.
Overall the book maintain's its consistency. Though for some of the chapters where there are theoretical models available, the same could be added for future editions
As highlighted through my comments for earlier section, one feature that makes this book stand out is the different themes/disciplines/subject matter it presents in one book. Instructors looking to teach various aspects related to women can use this text just for that specific material they are interested in covering in their class.
As an instructor and some one who is deeply committed to women issues, I like the organization/structure for the information presented in this book. Those looking to have in-class exercises or assignments on specific issues related to women, will benefit if appropriate databases information is presented across the text.
I personally have liked some of the pictures and other graphics presented across the book. As mentioned in my earlier comments, I would prefer if there are interviews and more in-depth stories of real women/beneficiaries of various programs mentioned across this book.
I did not specifically find any grammatical errors.
The fact that this is a text book on Global Women's issue, it has done a good job of bringing examples of women issues from different parts of the planet. This also offers the audience/s to relate to issues women face across the planet and how policy makers, social workers, and public health professionals can learn from successful experiences else where. For example, the implementation of "Grameen bank" related programs based on the success it experiences in Bangladesh.
Just include some more databases information for specific issues for audiences that would be interested in working further on specific topics mentioned across the book.
Table of Contents
- Overview: Interview with Ambassador Melanne Vereer
- Chapter 1: Women and Poverty
- Chapter 2: Women and Education
- Chapter 3: Women and Health
- Chapter 4: Violence Against Women
- Chapter 5: Women, Girls and Armed Conflict
- Chapter 6: Women in the Economy
- Chapter 7: Women in Power and Decisionmaking
- Chapter 8: Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women
- Chapter 9: Human Rights of Women
- Chapter 10: Women and the Media
- Chapter 11: Women and the Environment
- Chapter 12: Rights of the Girl Child
- Bibliography: Additional Resources
- Versioning History
About the Book
We cannot solve global challenges unless women participate fully in efforts to find solutions. Female participation in the private sector is a crucial economic driver for societies worldwide. Economic security benefits every facet of a woman's life, with positive effects on the health, education and vitality of families. Learn about women who are changing their societies for the better. This book is based on the twelve critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995: The burden of poverty on women, unequal access to education and training, inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services, violence against women, the effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation, inequality in economic structures and policies, inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels, insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women, lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women, stereotyping of women and inequality in women's access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media, gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment, and persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child. This extended version of Global Women's Issues: Women in the World Today includes, for each chapter, a summary, key words, multiple choice questions, discussion questions, essay questions, and a list of additional resources. Copies of the original book are also available in Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish.
About the Contributors
Dr. Janni Aragon (BA/MA San Diego State University, MA/PhD UC Riverside) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Victoria. She has taught courses on American Politics, Political Theory, Gender and Politics, Feminist Theory, Gender and International Relations, Model United Nations Simulation, Internship in Political Science, as well as numerous Women's Studies courses at the University of Victoria and San Diego State University. Her research interests include: Gender and Politics, American Politics, Women and Technology, Third Wave Feminisms, Social Movements, and Transnational Feminism. She has been published in New Political Science, Women's Studies Quarterly, and the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics. She is currently working on a project focused on pedagogy, popular culture, and technology entitled, "Feminist Pedagogical Border Crossing: Using Popular Culture to Teach Globalization to the 'Net Gen.'"
Dr. Aragon was the 2011-13 Chair of the Academic Women’s Caucus at UVic. In this capacity, Aragon represents all women faculty and librarians at all equity, diversity, and human rights meetings. She also sits on the Senate in the Learning and Teaching Committee. She also served as the 2010-11 President of the Caucus for Women and Gender Justice for the Western Political Science Association (WPSA). She has served as the Chair of the Gender and Politics section and Teaching, Research, and Professional Development section of regional political science associations. Dr. Aragon and Dr. Kathleen Jones co-coordinated the Feminist Theory Conference at the WPSA in 2009.
Mariel Miller is an Educational Design Specialist in the Department of Technology Integrated Learning. She works with instructors and programs to facilitate learning through designing, developing, and refining online courses. Her research and professional interests include the design and use of online environments to support regulation of learning as a dynamic and social process. Specifically, her SSHRC funded doctoral research centres on leveraging scripting and visualization tools to support teams to regulate collaboration.