Below are descriptions of all the major organizations included in the collection. You may click on the links to access particular related documents within Women and Social Movements International, or to find further information about an organization at that group's website.
Africa-America Institute, Women’s Africa Committee (AAI) (1959 – 1980s)
The Africa-America Institute (AAI) was founded in 1953 to support educational programs for Africans and to inform U.S. policies in order to reduce poverty in Africa. The educational program provides scholarship support for higher education and the policy program provides a space for officials from the U.S. and Africa to discuss issues and work together. Most of the material in this digital archive comes from the Women’s Africa Committee of the AAI, and focuses on women’s role in Africa. Women’s leadership programs, artwork, and economic participation are all topics of conferences proceedings and reports included in this database.
All India Women's Conference (AIWC) (1927- )
In January 1927, the first All India Women's Conference (AIWC) focused on women's education and met at Pune. It was founded on the principles of social justice and of equality for women and girls in India. It is affiliated with the International Alliance of Women (IAW) and the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA). Women and Social Movements International includes documents related to early conferences.
Amnesty International (AI) (1961- )
Founded in 1961, Amnesty International (AI) has grown over fifty years to include 2.2 million supporters in over 150 countries. AI works through research and action to establish transnational standards opposing the abuse of human rights and seeking justice for those whose human rights have been violated. Women and Social Movements International includes AI publications since 1999 focusing on women's rights as human rights.
Arab Women's Solidarity Association (AWSA) (1982- )
Nawal El Saadawi founded the Arab Women's Solidarity Association (AWSA) in Egypt in 1982. The organization promotes the rights of Arab women as part of the process of liberating Arab people, and promotes women's participation in social, economic, cultural and political life. Women and Social Movements International includes papers and proceedings of AWSA conferences as well as publications by Nawal El Saadawi.
Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) (1933 –)
The Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is an organization of rural women. It aims to raise the standard of living for rural women and their families, to provide rural women practical support to generate income, and to speak on behalf of rural women through affiliation with the United Nations and its agencies. Its roots extend into the late 19th century with the formation of independent rural women’s groups in several countries. In April 1929, the first International Conference of Rural Women, representing 24 countries, met in London. In 1930, the International Council of Women (ICW) created a liaison committee of rural women’s organizations; the committee became the ACWW at Stockholm in 1933. Beginning in 1936, it has held 23 triennial conferences with additional regional meetings, and in 2010 its membership includes 365 affiliated societies in over 70 countries. The ACWW does not receive governmental monetary support, and it runs programs in development to promote health, sanitation, subsistence production, education, business skills and nutrition, among other interests. The materials in the digital archive include the proceedings from the triennial conferences, and there are several institutional publications that include histories of the organization.
Association for Moral and Social Hygiene (AMSH) (1915-1962)
The Association for Moral and Social Hygiene (AMSH) carried out the work of Josephine Butler (1828-1906), who organized to end state regulation of prostitution and the stigmatization of prostitutes. The AMSH was a British affiliate of the International Abolitionist Federation (IAF). In 1962, the AMSH merged into the Josephine Butler Society. Women and Social Movements International includes material related to the group's work on international prostitution and trafficking issues.
Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) (1982- )
The Association for Women in Development (AWID) was founded in 1982 to generate discussion among professionals on the impact of economic development efforts on women. In recent years, AWID has broadened its mission to advocate equality, peace, and women's human rights and has changed its original name to reflect this broadened mission. Documents from AWID in Women and Social Movements International include a number of recent online publications from the Association's web site.
Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund (CCCMF) (1947-1961) / Overseas Education Fund (1961-1986)
The League of Women Voters (LWV) established the Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund (CCCMF) in 1947 to promote citizenship, especially for women, in totalitarian countries transitioning to democracy. Financially independent of the LWV, the CCCMF worked with the League to publish educational materials for use in the United States and abroad. In 1961, the CCCMF changed its name to the Overseas Education Fund (OEF). In 1986, it became OEF International and, after 1991, the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). Women and Social Movements International includes more than thirty League documents reflecting its international activities from its founding in 1920 through 1990.
Catholics for Choice / Catholics for a Free Choice (CFC) (1973- )
Catholics for Choice, formerly Catholics for a Free Choice, is a Catholic lay organization based in Washington, D.C., that challenges the traditional Catholic hierarchy and the perspective of the Vatican, especially on women's issues related to abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDS, and public policy. The CFC believes individuals should make their own moral decisions through education, research and advocacy. Women and Social Movements International includes publications in English and Spanish, reflecting the organization's activity in the United States and Latin America.
Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) (1989- )
The Center for Women's Global Leadership, based at Rutgers University, was founded in 1989 by Charlotte Bunch. CWGL develops programs to prepare women for leadership and to influence policy-making from a feminist perspective at the local, national, and international levels. Women and Social Movements International includes half a dozen Center reports focusing on women's human rights.
Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions (1900-1938)
The Central Committee on the United Study of Missions was an interdenominational Protestant group founded in 1900 by the Federation of Women's Boards of Foreign Missions. The organization included Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Baptists at the start, incorporating Dutch Reformed and Lutherans later. The group commissioned mission study texts and sponsored mission study conferences and workshops. Between 1912 and 1915, the group changed its name to the Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions. The CCUSFM merged into the Mission Education Movement and published its last book in 1938. Women and Social Movements International holdings include five Central Committee publications focused on women's missionary activities between 1904 and 1933.
Committee of Correspondence (1953-1969)
Founded in 1953 and based in New York City, the Committee of Correspondence served as a clearinghouse of information for the development of leadership skills among women in newly independent countries. The Committee distributed monthly bulletins internationally with information on subjects such as child welfare, community development, education, social welfare, the status of women and women in public life. The Committee supported field workers in over 100 countries and offered training for more than 5,000 women before disbanding in 1969. Women and Social Movements International includes manuscript reports and letters circulated by Committee women in the course of their international work.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1982- )
The United Nations established the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 1982 as a body of experts on global women's issues. The Committee analyzes the progress of women within nation states that ratified the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Women and Social Movements International includes official reports related to both the Convention and the Committee.
DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era) (1984 –)
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) was founded in 1984 in Bangalore, India, at a meeting of women, including Devaki Jain from India and Peggy Antrobus from Barbados, concerned with the effects of development policies on women. This group sought to identify and support alternative development strategies and presented a report to the 1985 UN Conference on Women held in Nairobi. DAWN is a feminist organization that analyzes and fights against economic, social, and political processes that cause inequality and focuses its attention in particular on inequalities in the global south. DAWN materials in this digital archive include reports from conferences and studies on development and related issues.
Ecumenical Decade--Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998)
The World Council of Churches declared 1988-1998 the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women. Decade sponsors aimed to challenge discrimination of women in churches and communities; it recognized women's contributions to their churches and communities and it encouraged churches to take actions in solidarity with women. Women and Social Movements International includes material by women and women's organizations active during the Ecumenical Decade.
Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) (1923-1966)
Veiled Egyptian women publicly protested British occupation in 1919, and four years later Hoda Sha'arawi organized the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) and affiliated with the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA). The women of the Union focused on women's political rights as well as education, anti-prostitution, and opposition to marriage/divorce laws discriminating against women. In 1938, the EFU held the First Congress of Arab Women in Cairo, focusing on issues related to Palestine. The Second Congress in 1944 created the Pan-Arab Women's League. In 1966, the EFU changed its name to the Hoda Sha'arawi Association. Women and Social Movements International includes numerous documents related to the EFU's international activities, primarily articles from their monthly French-language journal, L'Egyptienne, reporting on the EFU's participation in international women's conferences in the 1920's and 30s.
El Taller International (1991- )
El Taller was founded in 1991 after a series of meetings in Spain, Thailand, and Chile. With headquarters in Tunis, El Taller emphasizes communication among organizations of the Global South and seeks to empower the voices on the periphery. El Taller collaborated with the Asian Women's Human Rights Council to sponsor the World Courts of Women. Publications of four of these court hearings are included in Women and Social Movements International.
Encuentros Feministas Latinoamericos y del Caribe (1981- )
Since 1981, Latin American and Caribbean women's organizations have hosted feminist meetings to discuss and support feminist movements across Latin America. Each conference has been hosted by different organizations making each meeting a reflection of the organizations involved as well as of the contemporary political issues. For example, neoliberalism was the focus of the 1996 conference held in Chile. Other discussion topics at these conferences have included lesbianism, prostitution, and racism. The most recent conference took place in Mexico in 2009. Reports on most of these meetings are available through Women and Social Movements International.
Equal Rights International (ERI) (1930-1941)
Equal Rights International (ERI) was founded by British feminists to promote women's equal rights internationally. The women of ERI, based in Geneva, lobbied the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization in support of the Equal Rights Treaty, the Montevideo Nationality Treaty, labor laws for both men and women, and equal status for women. The ERI merged with the World Woman's Party in 1941. Most material on the ERI in Women and Social Movements International speaks to the organization's relationship with the World Woman's Party (WWP) and Alice Paul.
Equality Now (1992- )
Founded in 1992, Equality Now is a New York-based NGO focusing on the protection and promotion of women's human rights internationally. The group documents and protests human rights violations, and it aims to raise awareness of such injustices. Equality Now created the Women's Action Network to coordinate the efforts of international actors, addressing issues of violence against women and of economic and political discrimination against women. Women and Social Movements International includes annual reports on the work of Equality Now between 1993 and 2008.
European Women's Lobby (EWL) (1990- )
The European Women's Lobby was established in 1990 with the support of the European Commission. It facilitates discussions between citizens and policy-makers, and its main objective is to defend women's rights and the interests of women throughout Europe. The EWL has become a well-established civil society NGO, reaching more than 2,500 organizations in 30 European states. Six reports, illuminating the Lobby's work since 2005, constitute the holdings in Women and Social Movements International.
Independent Congresses of Women (1878- )
Between 1878 and 1915, a series of women's congresses unaffiliated with any one women's organization were held in Europe and the United States, addressing the rights of women. Women and Social Movements International includes proceedings and newspaper coverage of a number of these congresses as well as from unaffiliated congresses held across the twentieth century. Women and Social Movements International holdings include proceedings and newspaper reports on eight of these congresses.
General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) (1965 –)
Founded in 1965, the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) serves as the official body for Palestinian women in the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The GUPW mobilizes women in Palestine and in exile to promote education and skills training for women in the quest for liberation and Palestinian self-determination.
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) (1994 –)
In 1994, participants at a conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand founded the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) to combat human trafficking and to succor trafficked women. The founders of GAATW pride themselves in forming a women’s movement that recognizes the power dynamics between women and listens to women before speaking for them. Today, GAATW connects 90 non-governmental organizations through its network. The concerns of these organizations include: women’s rights, human rights, and migrant rights. Publications by GAATW in this digital archive include studies of trafficking, handbooks for migrant workers, and reports on women’s rights.
Inter-American Commission of Women / Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres (IACW / CIM) (1922 –)
The Inter-American Commission of Women (Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres (CIM)) was established at the International Conference of American States held in Havana, Cuba in 1928 where Doris Stevens criticized the Organization of American States (OAS) for not including any women as delegates of the assembly. The CIM was created as a division of the OAS to promote women’s political and civil rights. Today, the CIM promotes women’s political, cultural, economic, civil, and social rights and works to establish legal measures to end discrimination against women. It meets every two years, and each American state sends one delegate to attend. Documents available in this digital archive include conference proceedings, comparative studies of women’s economic lives, and CIM reports presented to the OAS and United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).
International Abolitionist Federation / Fédération abolitionniste internationale (IAF / FAI) (1875 – 2000s)
The International Abolitionist Federation (IAF; Fédération Abolitionniste Internationale, FAI) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to eliminate trafficking in women and children and to promote human rights. Founded in 1875 by British reformer Josephine Butler in Geneva, the IAF was originally formed to abolish prostitution and regulation of prostitution. Documents regarding the IAF in this archive include works written by and about Josephine Butler as well as conference proceedings and books about the regulation of vice and causes of prostitution. Today, the Federation continues to host international congresses triennially. In recent years, the Federation has been joined in its anti-trafficking work by a number of recently-founded NGOs, including the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW), also prominent in this digital archive.
International Alliance of Women / International Woman Suffrage Alliance / International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship (IAW / IWSA / IAWSEC) (1899–)
The International Alliance of Women (IAW) began as the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA), which was founded formally in Berlin in 1904 to promote woman suffrage more vigorously that was possible within the International Council of Women. As women in more nations secured the vote, leaders of the IWSA saw a need to broaden the Alliance’s aims, a change reflected in the adoption of a new name, the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship (IAWSEC) in 1926. After 1929, the Alliance shifted its focus from suffrage to peace efforts and lobbied the League of Nations and, later, the United Nations on behalf of women’s rights. The declining need to lobby for woman suffrage resulted in the Alliance’s final name change in 1946 to International Alliance of Women—Equal Rights— Equal Responsibilities. The IAW has held 34 international congresses, with the most recent in South Africa in 2010. Materials in the digital archive include congress proceedings, organizational publications, reports of activities, and publications of individuals active in the organization.
International Birth Control Congresses (1900-1930)
The International Neo-Malthusian Federation was formed in 1900, holding its first conference in Paris. Women and Social Movements International includes material from the fifth, sixth and seventh International Neo-Malthusian and Birth Control Conferences with special attention to the involvement of Margaret Sanger.
International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace (1915-1919)
The International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace served to organize peace women between 1915 and 1919. The Committee was created by the International Congress of Women at The Hague in 1915, and the International Congress of Women at Zurich in 1919 changed the organization's name to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Women and Social Movements International includes a wealth of published and manuscript materials on the 1915 Congress and the Committee's work during and just after World War I.
International Congress of Women at The Hague, 1915
Initiated by the Woman's Peace Party (U.S.), the International Congress of Women at The Hague was chaired by Jane Addams. Over 1,000 women attended the Congress to protest World War I and work toward a mediated end to the conflict. The Congress created the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace (ICWPP), which sponsored the 1919 Second International Congress of Women in Zurich and founded the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Women and Social Movements International includes the proceedings of the 1915 Hague and 1919 Zurich Congresses as well as related documents of those attending the meetings, including Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, Aletta Jacobs, and Chrystal Macmillan.
International Co-operative Women's Guild (ICWG) (1921-1963)
The Women's Co-operative Guild, a British organization supporting efforts to promote women's political status and the rights of women workers, founded the International Co-operative Women's Guild (ICWG) in 1921. Austrian democratic socialist Emmy Freundlich served as President and Alice Honora Enfield as Secretary. The ICWG merged into the International Co-operative Alliance in 1963. Women and Social Movements International includes several documents by Freundlich and Enfield.
International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) (1912 –)
The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) was founded in 1912. Its current goals include: promotion of human rights, strengthening the relationships between Jewish women, and working to improve social welfare. The ICJW held its first international convention in Paris, France in 1949, and its most recent convention was held in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2010. The 2010 conference had the theme: “‘Beyachad Ubuntu Together’, ICJW, A Century of Achievement, The Future Beckons.” This digital archive contains the proceedings from the first twelve conferences as well as reports written by women who attended those conferences and women’s conferences hosted by the United Nations.
International Council of Women (ICW) (1888 –)
The International Council of Women (ICW) was founded in 1888 under the direction of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the National Woman Suffrage Association meeting in Washington, D.C. The ICW held its first quinquennial congress at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The organization claimed to have 4-5 million women members in 1907 and 36 million by 1925. The ICW focused on club interests in its early years with themes such as Christianity, philanthropy, social reform, art, music, literature, and education. Historians have categorized the ICW as the “most conservative” of the major women’s international organizations. Nevertheless, the organization expanded its agenda to include disarmament, suffrage, trafficking in women and children, employment, health, children, and immigration. It lobbied both the League of Nations and the United Nations on behalf of its membership, and its example helped spur other women’s international organizations, especially when groups felt the ICW was failing with a particular issue/topic. The ICW has held 25 conferences, and the most recent general assembly meeting was in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2009. Materials in this digital archive include the organization’s proceedings, as well as institutional publications and relevant items published by members. Additionally, the archive includes manuscript material from the ICW collection at the Library of Congress and the May Wright Sewall collection at the Clarke Library, Central Michigan University.
International Council of Social Democratic Women / Socialist International Women (ICSDW / SIW) (1907- )
The first International Socialist Women's Conference took place in 1907 in Stuttgart, Germany. At that meeting, Clara Zetkin assumed leadership of the Women's International Secretariat, which was part of the international socialist movement. International meetings of socialist women resumed after World War II, and in 1955, the International Council of Social Democratic Women (ICSDW) was founded. In 1978, ICSDW became Socialist International Women (SIW). Today, Socialist International Women works to end gender discrimination, promote peace, and increase women's political participation. SIW is a non-governmental organization with the UN. In 2008, SIW hosted its XIX Congress in Athens, with the theme �Women's Rights are Human Rights. Materials from ICSDW and SIW in Women and Social Movements International include conference proceedings as well as statements made by the organizations and their predecessors since 1907.
International Federation of Business and Professional Women / BPW International (IFBPW) (1930- )
In 1928, Lena Madesin Phillips, president of the (U.S.) National Federation of Business and Professional Women, organized the travels of a group of U.S. women to Europe, which resulted in the formation of the IFBPW in 1930 with Phillips serving as President. The Federation held its first conference in Richmond, Virginia, in 1931. The organization focuses on the economic interests of women, aiming to develop women's professional and leadership skills. The IFBPW seeks to empower women economically in helping with workforce entry/re-entry, with running successful businesses, by protecting rights of women workers, and by creating support networks for women. The next conference of BPW International will be held in 2011 in Helsinki, Finland. The materials in this digital archive include the proceedings of IFBPW international conferences, institutional documents, and manuscript materials from the papers of Lena Madesin Phillips.
International Federation of University Women (IFUW) (1919 –)
The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) was founded in 1919, following a discussion by Virginia Gildersleeve, Caroline Spurgeon, and Rose Sidgewick. They wanted to create an organization of educated women to promote peaceful measures and prevent another devastating war in Europe. The next year, the IFUW held its first conference in London. Today, the organization represents 67 national affiliates. The IFUW aims to develop the education of women and girls by focusing on girls’ primary education, women’s adult literacy, women’s access to higher education, and leadership opportunities for women. The last conference of the IFUW was held in August 2010 in Mexico City. The materials in this digital archive include the conference reports of the IFUW, institutional publications, works by IFUW women, and a good array of primary materials from the IFUW collection at the Aletta Institute in Amsterdam.
International Federation of Working Women (IFWW) (1919-1923)
The International Federation of Working Women (IFWW) was established at the International Congress of Working Women in 1919. Margaret Dreier Robins of the National Women's Trade Union League (U.S.) called the first congress and served as president. The first congress was held in Washington, D.C., the second in Geneva (1921), and the third in Vienna (1923). The IFWW promoted the rights of working women, including the eight-hour day and 44-hour week, regulation of child labor and night work, maternity and unemployment insurance, safer working conditions, rights of emigrants, as well as positions for women to serve in the International Labour Office and labor departments regarding women's issues. Resources in Women and Social Movements International include printed material from the Congresses and selected manuscript items from the Sophia Smith Collection and the Schlesinger Library.
International Labour Organization (ILO) (1919- )
Since 1919, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has worked for social justice for workers. The ILO's foundational principles state that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work and women's rights as workers have been included in the ILO's policy agenda since the first International Labour Conference held in Washington, D.C. in October 1919, where maternity protection and night work for women were two areas of discussion. Today, gender equality at work is included as one of the ILO's areas of activism. Materials from the ILO included in Women and Social Movements International include addresses by Frances Perkins, studies on women's labor, and discussions about women's work at ILO conferences.
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) (1952 –)
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) was founded in 1952 at the Third Conference on Planned Parenthood held in Bombay, India. Margaret Sanger for the United States, Elise Ottesen-Jensen from Sweden, and Dhanvanthi Rama Rau from India were founding members of the IPPF and had previously been active in the international birth control movement. Today, the IPPF continues to provide family planning and reproductive health services in over 170 countries. Materials about and by the IPPF included in the digital archive include papers presented at its international conferences, studies on abortion laws, and evaluations of family planning programs.
International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) (1985- )
The International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) was founded at the 1985 UN World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women, Nairobi. The IWRAW addresses equality among women and men by defending and establishing international human rights for women and girls. Women and Social Movements International includes documents authored and published by IWRAW.
International Women's Tribune Centre (IWTC) (1976- )
In 1976, the International Women's Tribune Centre (IWTC) was founded, following the UN World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City (1975). The IWTC acts as a communication network for women activists, facilitating the exchange of information, publications, and other resources among women in an effort to change global policies. Women and Social Movements International provides examples of publications distributed by the IWTC and slideshows prepared by the Centre to publicize the three of the four UN World conferences of Women held between 1975 and 1995.
Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women (JAPGAW) (1885-1930s)
Constance Rothschild Battersea founded the Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women (JAPGAW) in 1885. The main concern of the organization was trafficking in women and children. Women and Social Movements International includes several reports from the group.
League of Nations (LN) (1919-1945)
An intergovernmental organization, the League of Nations (LN) was founded under the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The main purpose of the League was to promote negotiation among states to prevent war. The League addressed social questions regarding women, especially traffic in women and children. Selected trafficking reports are included in this digital archive. Additionally, this archive includes reports on women's nationality and the status of women, two areas of concern brought to the League by the Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations (LCWIO) in the 1930s. Women and Social Movements International holdings include reports on trafficking in women, hearings related to women's equal nationality rights, and the first international hearings on the status of women.
League of Women Voters (LWV) (1920- )
The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a United States nonpartisan organization that succeeded the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) with the passage of the woman suffrage amendment in 1920. In addition to a domestic focus on voter education, the LWV developed international committees to address foreign affairs. In its early years, the LWV established the Department of International Cooperation to Prevent War, which focused on peace work. In 1947 it set up the Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund to promote civic education for women whose countries were transitioning to democratic governments. The name of the Memorial Fund changed to the Overseas Education Fund (OEF) in 1961 and OEF International in 1986. OEF International dissolved in 1991, shifting some of its work back to the LWV through the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). Women and Social Movements International includes selected international material from the LWV through the Department of International Cooperation in the 1920s and 1930s as well as OEF International material in more recent years.
Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations (LCWIO) (1925-1977)
The Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations (LCWIO) cooperated with international women's organizations to promote women's influence in the League of Nations and in international affairs more broadly. The LCWIO was founded in 1925 with the name Joint Standing Committee of Women's International Organisations, which identified women experts and suggested their appointment to League of Nations committees. The Joint Standing Committee changed its name in 1934 when it merged with the Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations. In addition to promoting women's appointments to the League of Nations, the LCWIO pressured the League to study the status of women. Materials in Women and Social Movements International include a study of women in the postwar world, manuscript minutes of a substantial number of the Committee's meetings between 1925 and 1950, and reports from a number of seminars and open meetings held in the 1960s.
MADRE (1983- )
In 1983, following an invitation from Nicaraguan women, a group of United States women witnessed the U.S.-sponsored violence in Nicaragua. The U.S. group formed MADRE as an organization run by women, informed in international human rights issues, and dedicated to exposing unjust aspects of U.S. foreign policy. MADRE aligns with sister organizations globally to create programs and influence policy internationally. Women and Social Movements International includes a sampling of MADRE publications.
Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) (1919- )
Founded in 1919 at a congress held in New York, the Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) represents women doctors from around the globe as a non-political, non-sectarian, and non-profit nongovernmental organization (NGO). The first president was Dr. Esther P. Lovejoy. Today, the MWIA works with United Nations bodies, such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Women and Social Movements International features documents about Lovejoy, the MWIA, and selected congresses.
Network of East-West Women (NEWW) (1994- )
In June 1991, a group of seventy-five women from Eastern European countries met in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, forming the Network of East-West Women (NEWW). The NEWW fosters communication among women from more than thirty countries and supports projects and workshops as well as email networks to promote democracy and women's movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Women and Social Movements International includes several NEWW publications.
Open Door International for the Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker (ODI) (1929-1973)
Open Door International for the Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker (ODI) was founded in 1929 to address issues of equality in the workplace. Chrystal Macmillan acted as first president of the organization, which claimed membership in 21 nations. However, membership quickly dwindled after World War II, and the organization went defunct in 1974. Statements on women’s work and conference proceedings make up the bulk of ODI material found in this digital archive.
OEF International (OEF) (1986-1991)
The League of Women Voters (LWV) established the Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund (CCCMF) in 1947. By 1986, the institution became OEF International, focusing its work in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The group supported work in over twenty countries. OEF International dissolved in 1991, shifting its objectives to other organizations, including the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). Women and Social Movements International includes selected international material from the LWV through the Department of International Cooperation in the 1920s and 1930s as well as OEF International material in more recent years.
Pan American Conference of Women (PACW) (1922)
In 1922, the League of Women Voters hosted the Pan American Conference of Women in conjunction with their Third Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. The PACW was designed to promote suffrage in the Western Hemisphere. Attendees included Bertha Lutz (Brazil), Elena Torres (Mexico), and Paulina Luisi (Uruguay), among others. The Conference resolved to establish the Pan American Association for the Advancement of Women (PAAAW); however, the organization dissolved a few years later.
Pan American Scientific Congress, Women's Auxiliary Committee (1920s)
The Women’s Auxiliary Committee met alongside the Second Pan American Scientific Congress in Washington, D.C., December 1915 to January 1916. The Committee was created and supported by the Congress to coordinate the interests of women and children in the Western hemisphere. The Second Pan American Conference of Women met during the Third Pan American Scientific Congress in Lima, December 1924-January 1925.
Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA) (1928 –)
The Pan Pacific Women’s Association or Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association began in 1928 as the Pan Pacific Women’s Association, which held its first conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. The aims of the organization are to promote peace and cooperation among the peoples in different regions of the Pacific, and it focuses particularly on issues concerning the status of women and children. The PPSEAWA works to solve problems concerning women and children, addresses concerns with family and child welfare, and supports education and skills training in addition to fundraising for areas of interest to the organization. Today, the PPSEAWA represents 19 national organizations, many with local chapters. The PPSEAWA held its 24th International Conference in May 2010. Materials in digital archive include proceedings from the organization’s conferences as well as manuscript material from the PPSEAWA’s collection at Smith College and the selected papers of Louise Laidlaw Backus at Schlesinger Library.
Peace and Disarmament Committee of the Women's International Organizations (1931- 1945)
The Peace and Disarmament Committee of the Women's International Organizations (PDCWIO) originated in 1931 as the disarmament committee for the Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations (LCWIO). The Committee acted as a clearinghouse of information in Geneva for many women's organizations during the League of Nations Disarmament Conference in 1932-1934. In 1935, the PDCWIO took its new name and separated from the Liaison Committee. Mary Dingman served as president from 1931-1939, and the organization dissolved during World War II. Women and Social Movements International includes reports of the work of the Committee in English and French over the course of its active work.
Sisters in Islam (SIS) (1987- )
Based in Malaysia, the Sisters in Islam (SIS) develop programs and activities to advocate for the principles of a progressive Islam, with special awareness of women's rights and equality for all citizens. Women and Social Movements International includes several documents produced by this organization.
St. Joan's International Alliance (1911-1980s)
In 1911, a group of Catholic women, who supported women's suffrage, united as the Catholic Women's Suffrage Society in London. The CWSS changed its name to the St. Joan's Social and Political Alliance in 1923, supporting membership from other countries. In addition to suffrage, the Alliance supported anti-trafficking efforts and independent nationality for married women as well as equal pay for women and revisions to Catholic doctrine regarding women and the Church. Women and Social Movements International includes several documents about this organization.
UN Commission on Human Rights / UN Human Rights Council (UNCHR / UNHRC) (1946-)
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was created as a UN body in 1946. In 2006, the UN General Assembly replaced the Commission with the Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Women and Social Movements International holds documents of the UNCHR that address questions of women's rights as human rights, including related material from the UN World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna (1993).
UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) (1946- )
The UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) was created by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946 to provide recommendations and reports to the Council regarding the interests of women. It is designed to promote equality among women and men as well as address women's rights in political, social, civil, economic, and educational fields. The UNCSW functions to determine the priority theme of concern annually and makes recommendations to be implemented at international, national, regional, and local levels of governments and society. Women and Social Movements International includes a complete run of reports from the UNCSW sessions as well as material relating to the World Conferences on Women and the UN Decade for Women (UNDW). The 54th session of the UNCSW took place in March 2011.
UN Decade for Women (1976-1985)
The 1975 World Conference of Women held in Mexico City recommended that the years 1976-1985 be recognized as a Decade for Women, addressing action items related to the needs and status of women as well as the related themes of equality, peace, and development. World Conferences of Women were held in 1980 in Copenhagen as well as in 1985 in Nairobi to assess progress and make further recommendations on strategies for the advancement of women. Women and Social Movements International includes material from the Decade and from the three World Conferences of Women held in this period. It highlights official documents and reports as well as material from nongovernmental organizations and individuals participating in Decade activities. A good proportion of related material comes from the Mildred A. Persinger collection at Hollins University.
UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (1976 –)
UNIFEM was established in 1976, and it supports financially and with technical assistance activities that promote gender equality and that work to end discrimination and violence against women.
UN Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing (1995)
The United Nations held the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace in Beijing, China, September 4-15, 1995. The main themes of the conference included women and poverty, education and training of women, women and health, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women and decision-making, institutional gender mainstreaming, women and the media, women and the environment, and the girl-child. Moreover, the Beijing Conference established the human rights of women and the girl child as integral to universal human rights. This digital archive includes the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action. It also has selected country reports and reports of NGOs regarding progress on the status and advancement of women. Finally, there is material for the five-year reviews of the Declaration and Platform: Beijing +5, Beijing +10, and Beijing +15.
UN International Women's Year (IWY) (1975)
The year 1975 was declared International Women's Year by the United Nations. The UN held its first world conference on women, the UN World Conference of the International Women's Year, in Mexico City during IWY. Women and Social Movements International includes a wide array of relevant documents published by the UN, national government agencies, and NGO's that reported on IWY activities and agendas.
UN World Conference of the International Women's Year, Mexico City (1975)
In June 1975, some 1,300 individuals gathered in Mexico City not only to celebrate the UN International Women's Year but also to discuss the status of women throughout the world. The United Nations published the World Plan of Action, a report developed by the Conference to address gender inequality, the place of women in development, and the importance of world peace in securing human rights and women's full equality with men. The Plan provided guidelines for the ten-year period 1976-1985, resolved by the UN to be observed as the Decade for Women. Women and Social Movements International includes a rich array of resources focusing on the Mexico City conference and forum preserved in the Mildred A. Persinger Collection at Hollins University.
UN World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, Copenhagen (1980)
The United Nations held the second World Conference on Women in 1980 at Copenhagen, known formally as the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women. Held five years after Mexico City, the Copenhagen conference was designed to assess the 1975 Plan of Action and to adjust it as needed. The Copenhagen conference assessed the main themes of Mexico City (equality, development, and peace), while identifying key subthemes as important components of the Decade for Women: employment, health, and education. Women and Social Movements International includes numerous published documents and a slideshow prepared after the conference by the International Women's Tribune Centre.
UN World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna (14-25 June 1993)
During June 1993, the United Nations held the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria. The Conference reaffirmed the commitment to the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights and passed both the Vienna Declaration and the Programme of Action as means of strengthening efforts to protect human rights globally. Women and Social Movements International focuses on material from women as individuals and from women's NGO's regarding the discussions of women and human rights.
UN World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women, Nairobi (1985)
The United Nations held the third World Conference on Women in 1985 at Nairobi, known formally as the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women. The UN published the report from the conference: Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of women to the Year 2000. The report noted progress on the objectives outlined for the Decade for Women, but it emphasized the need to continue efforts to achieve the goals outlined in Mexico City and Copenhagen.
United Nations (UN) (1945- )
The United Nations (UN) was established following World War II to replace the League of Nations as the global intergovernmental body in an effort to ensure peace, to prevent another world war, and to create a forum for international diplomacy. The digital archive focuses on efforts of the United Nations to address issues related to women, including its relationship to women’s nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), its development of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and its support of the UN Decade for Women, CEDAW, among other events and activities.
U.S. Women's Bureau (1920- )
The United States government created the Women's Bureau within the Department of Labor in 1920. While the Women's Bureau is concerned mostly with domestic issues, Women and Social Movements International includes documents published by the Women's Bureau regarding transnational and international aspects of women and policy, particularly material that engages discussions of the Western Hemisphere.
Woman's Board of Foreign Missions, various denominations (1840-1935)
Evangelical Protestant missions created an avenue for transnational work for women, especially for American women during the nineteenth century. Women and Social Movements International traces women's mission-related experiences by including women's memoirs as well as mission society reports and publications. Other women's organizations that conducted related missionary work include the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU) and the World Young Women's Christian Association (WYWCA).
Woman's Centennial Congress (1940)
In November 1940, activist women organized a conference, the Woman’s Centennial Congress, held at the Hotel Commodore in New York City to commemorate the century of women’s rights begun with the women attending the 1840 World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London. In addition to remembering the efforts of the past century, the Congress assessed the place of women in 1940, discussing work yet to be done. The digital archive includes the proceedings from this conference.
Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) (1990- )
Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) was founded in 1990 as a pan-African network to support legal strategies to increase the role of women in politics and in development in African nations. Its headquarters are in Harare, Zimbabwe, and it coordinates the work of groups in over 30 countries. Women and Social Movements International includes several documents related to WiLDAF.
Women on Waves (WoW) (1999- )
Established in 1999 by Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, Women on Waves (WoW) is a Dutch non-profit organization that provides pro-choice options for women in countries with restrictive abortion laws. On board a ship, the WoW visits countries and allows women to make appointments before sailing into international waters to provide the medical services legally. Documents in Women and Social Movements International relate to several voyages taken by WoW in the 2000s.
Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) (1990 –)
The Earth Summit, or the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 sparked the formation of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) in 1991. Founded by Bella Abzug and Mim Kelber, WEDO combined efforts to pursue women’s rights with strategies to resolve global environmental issues. The digital archive includes several documents related to WEDO.
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) (1984 –)
Established in 1984, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) formed out of the 4th International Women and Health Meetings (IWHM). This independent, grassroots organization has over 1,000 members in 105 countries, who support sexual and reproductive rights for women. They advocate especially for those on the margins. The WGNRR aligned with other organizations, like DAWN, for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) (1945 –)
The Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) was founded in December 1945, with representation from 49 countries. As a non-governmental organization, it was designed to bring together feminist organizations worldwide. A product of the Cold-War division of powers after World War II and Socialist in ideology, the organization advocates the equal rights of women, self determination and national independence, the rights of children, and protection of the environment. It opposes all forms of violence including atomic weapons, The Federation has opposed imperialist endeavors of the United States as well as colonialism more broadly. The WIDF has held 14 conferences, the most recent in 2007. The materials in this digital archive include the conference proceedings, but most notably are the institutional publications regarding the position against atomic weapons.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) (1915 –)
The Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) grew out of the International Congress of Women at The Hague, which brought together over 1,000 women in 1915 to work for a peaceful end to the war in Europe. Women who attended this first conference and whose writings are included in this digital archive include Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, Aletta Jacobs, and Chrystal Macmillan. Over the years, WILPF has protested chemical and biological warfare, worked towards World Disarmament, and worked with both the League of Nations and the United Nations. Today, WILPF continues to work with the UN as an NGO as well as with national and local governments and promotes peace through non-violent means. WILPF-related materials in this digital archive include congress proceedings, correspondence between WILPF leaders, and reports about national peace and women’s movements.
Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) (1890- )
Founded in London in 1920, the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) was part of the early Zionist movement to establish a Jewish nation in Palestine. Women formed this group separately as a way to focus their efforts on education and health and social services for women and children in Palestine. Today, the organization continues to promote women's and children's welfare in Israel. The most recent WIZO conference was held in 2008 and had the theme "Investing in People for Israel's Future." WIZO materials available in Women and Social Movements International include minutes from conferences, descriptions of women leaders of WIZO, and reports on WIZO activities.
World Courts of Women (1992- )
The Courts of Women are a series of public hearings held to encourage women to testify about the abuses they have endured, and by so doing to promote the activism of women and their organizations in the Global South. The Courts were founded by the Asian Women's Human Rights Commission and El Taller International. Over 30 Courts have been held since 1992. Women and Social Movements International includes four formal reports of Courts.
World Union of Women for International Concord (1915)
The World Union of Women for International Concord was formed in Geneva during February 1915. It sought to create a sisterhood of women and to work for motherly, peaceful changes for the world. The digital archive includes documents of the World Union from the Alice Park Papers, Hoover Institute, Stanford University. The last publication date is 1920.
World Woman's Party (WWP) (1938-1954)
Alice Paul and the U.S. National Woman's Party established the World Woman's Party in 1938 to advance equal rights legislation for women at the international level, especially the Equal Rights Treaty. The WWP coordinated work with Equal Rights International (ERI) and other organizations with similar objectives. Women and Social Movements International includes manuscript materials from the National Woman's Party Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
World Young Women's Christian Association (WYWCA) (1890- )
The World Young Women's Christian Association, or the World YWCA (WYWCA), began as a Christian organization focused on missionary goals. The Association held its first conference in London in 1898, bringing together 326 participants from 17 countries. Jane Kinnaird and Emma Roberts, both of London, are considered its founders. In 1920 at Champèry, the organization redefined its purpose following the experiences of humanitarian relief during the First World War. As part of this transition, the World YWCA shifted its focus to peace efforts, like other international women's organizations during this era. In addition to peace with justice, this organization takes on issues such as sexual and reproductive health, violence against women, women's human rights, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. Their 27th conference met in 2011. The materials in Women and Social Movements International include conference proceedings, institutional publications, and some manuscript material from women active in the organization.
World’s Anti-Slavery Convention, London (1840)
The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society called abolitionist societies together for the General Anti-Slavery Convention held in London in June 1840. The convention aimed to create an international movement against slavery, uniting abolitionist organizations in Europe and the United States. The convention is most known, however, for the controversy regarding women delegates, who were allowed to attend but not allowed to participate formally as delegates to the convention. The U.S. women elected by their organizations to serve as delegates to the convention included Sarah Pugh and Lucretia Coffin Mott. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, recently married to fellow abolitionist, Henry Stanton, attended the meeting while accompanying her delegate husband. Affronted by the secondary status of their sex in the proceedings, Mott and Stanton became fast friends and went on to organize the 1848 Seneca Falls (N.Y.) Convention that launched the women’s rights movement in the United States. Materials in the digital archive provide insight into the London convention from the perspectives of both Sarah Pugh and Lucretia Mott. Documents include selected letters from both women as well as Mott’s diary, selected pages from the convention proceedings, and the proceedings from the 1940 Woman's Centennial Congress that marked the 100-year anniversary of this event.
World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU) (1883 –)
The World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU) was founded by Frances Willard in 1883 at the 10th annual WCTU Convention in Detroit, Michigan. The WWCTU’s first convention was held in 1891 in Boston, and it united national groups that sought to remove alcohol and drugs (opium) from the world. It focused on evangelical Christianity, sending mission workers and the Anglo-American perspective to “foreign” places. As part of its interest in women’s issues, the WWCTU was a founding member of the International Council of Women in 1893, and it received status as a UN NGO in 1945. The organization’s 38th convention met in 2010. The materials this digital archive include the conference proceedings, institutional publications, and individual publications speaking to experiences with the WWCTU.