International Women's Year
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International Women's Year : The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History

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The United Nations declared 1975 the International Women's Year, a time to focus on the issues facing all members of the female sex on a global level. The capstone event of the year was the International Women's Year conference, dubbed "the greatest consciousness-raising event in history," held in Mexico City that summer. It attracted delegates from 133 countries, in addition to non-governmental organizations and press. The attendees included the famous-Betty Friedan, Jane Fonda, Angela Davis, and Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, among them; the royal-Princess Pahlavi of Iran; the politically connected-Leah Rabin of Israel, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirmavo Bandaranaike, and Egyptian first lady Jihan el-Sadat; and the grassroots. Splits were anticipated between white, Western liberal feminists and "Third World"/Communist/indigenous women, but what emerged from the conference was a far more complex realization that sisterhood was not more powerful than the issues that divided women, among them economic inequality, prostitution, reproductive rights, professional opportunities, Zionism, and disarmament. The conference was a major watershed in second-wave feminism, but in a larger sense, it marked the consolidation of transnational feminist organizing and a turning point in the role of NGOs in international activism, organizing, and governance. That this conference took place at the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and raised issues then being debated in diplomatic settings, heightens the importance of the IWY conference. Jocelyn Olcott has written a history of this event and its importance in a gripping narrative style that will appeal to those interested in international history, women's studies, and transnational movements.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 172 x 243 x 26mm | 674g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195327683
  • 9780195327687

Review quote

"No issues more clearly defined the 1970s than the changing status of women and the global struggle for economic justice and national liberation. These two collided at the 1975 International Women's Year conference in Mexico City, producing a spectacular display of both solidarity and conflict. Jocelyn Olcott provides the definitive history of this definitive transnational event."-Tim Borstelmann, author of The 1970s "Through Jocelyn Olcott's prodigious research and vivid narrative, a two-week conference in Mexico City in 1975 becomes a lens for viewing the history of transnational organizing among women in the late twentieth century. Historians and activists alike have much to learn from the tumultuous events that paved the way for so much that followed."-Leila J. Rupp, author of Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women's Movement"Jocelyn Olcott's terrific account of the International Women's Year conference in Mexico City makes readers feel like they are right in the thick of a key moment in feminist history. Deeply researched and told in compelling detail, Olcott's narrative shows how the interactions and dialogue forged in Mexico City laid the basis for the next several decades of global feminist activism."--Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biography -No issues more clearly defined the 1970s than the changing status of women and the global struggle for economic justice and national liberation. These two collided at the 1975 International Women's Year conference in Mexico City, producing a spectacular display of both solidarity and conflict. Jocelyn Olcott provides the definitive history of this definitive transnational event.--Tim Borstelmann, author of The 1970s -Through Jocelyn Olcott's prodigious research and vivid narrative, a two-week conference in Mexico City in 1975 becomes a lens for viewing the history of transnational organizing among women in the late twentieth century. Historians and activists alike have much to learn from the tumultuous events that paved the way for so much that followed.--Leila J. Rupp, author of Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women's Movement-Jocelyn Olcott's terrific account of the International Women's Year conference in Mexico City makes readers feel like they are right in the thick of a key moment in feminist history. Deeply researched and told in compelling detail, Olcott's narrative shows how the interactions and dialogue forged in Mexico City laid the basis for the next several decades of global feminist activism.---Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biographyshow more

About Jocelyn Olcott

Jocelyn Olcott is Associate Professor of History at Duke University and the author of Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico. She is the editor of Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico and a co-editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review.show more