The Regulator welcomes Duke professor Jocelyn Olcott for a reading and signing of her new book, International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History.
Amid the geopolitical and social turmoil of the 1970s, the United Nations declared 1975 as International Women’s Year. The capstone event, a two-week conference in Mexico City, was a watershed moment in transnational feminism that launched a new generation of activist networks that spanned continents, ideologies, and generations. How did organizers juggle geopolitical rivalries and material constraints amid global political and economic instability? International Women’s Year looks at how these sometimes combative, unanticipated encounters at the conference generated the most enduring legacies, including women’s networks across the global south, greater attention to the intersectionalities of marginalization, and the arrival of women’s micro-credit on the development scene
The Geopolitics of Feminism: International Women’s Year, the United Nations, and the Globalization of Social Policy
This talk considers the case of the 1975 UN International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City to discuss the ways that 1970s feminism and the explosion of women’s organizing around the world reoriented global policies around a host of issues ranging from population and food security to labor policies and environmental accords. These debates were refracted through 1970s geopolitics — détente, decolonization, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Sino-Soviet split — but also created vehicles through with feminist movements and women’s organizations shaped international policies and practices.