I'm late to this thread, but if anybody's interested, I have a few book recommendations. My recommendations are all about U.S. history because that's what I study, but I would love to learn more about women in other parts of the world, too.
US History as Women's History
(edited by Linda Kerber) is a collection of essays by historians that looks at the ways that gender infuses and shapes the history of the United States.
No Constitutional Right to be Ladies
(by Linda Kerber) looks at how courageous American women from the 19th century to the 1990s challenged legal restrictions on women's political rights.
-Actually, anything else by Linda Kerber. She's a very influential and well respected women's historian, but her writing style is much more accessible and less densely academic than a lot of other historians.
-Beyond the Double Bind
(by Kathleen Hall Jamieson) looks at the historical/traditional stereotypes that women who seek positions of political and business leadership face. It has a modern focus, but is rich in history, too.
-The World Split Open
(by Ruth Rosen) focuses on the women's rights movement of the 1960s-1970s.