Weaponizing' Women's Rights: Cold War Politics and the U.N. Decade for Women, 1975-1985

Thursday, July 9, 2015
H201 (28 rue des Saints-Pères)
Kristen Ghodsee , Bowdoin College
Using archival and oral history evidence, the paper will argue will argue that state socialist women’s organizations were key actors during the U.N. Decade for Women (1975-1985).  By mobilizing women from the developing world, women from the Eastern Bloc may have instigated Cold War competition over which economic system could provide more de facto and de jure equality to women.  This was a rivalry that benefited all women in the long run, whether they lived in the “First,” “Second,” or “Third” Worlds.