Harmattan: a journey across the Sahara, by Geraldine Kennedy
1964 - JFK has been instrumental in starting the Peace Corps, however, now his death leaves all those young idealists with major voids in their lives. 5 young Peace Corps women decide to make an unheralded and unusual trek across the Sahara - people from all walks of life, and various nationalities come to their aid during their quest. At one point, the women are "hijacked" by a group of French military men. Most people cannot comprehend their desire to undertake this voyage, after all it is 1964, and women are still not "equal" to men in facing this type of journey.
Well, THEY DO!