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.
The Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) was founded in late 1945, at a Congress in Paris attended by more than 800 participants representing organizations from 40 countries. Anti-fascist in origin, it sought to unite feminism and left politics and included many women who had been active in resistance movements during World War II. It received early consultative status with the United Nations, but Cold-War politics led to its exclusion from U.N. participation between 1954 and 1967. The WIDF was the originator of the call for International Women’s Year in 1975 and since its founding has promoted equal rights for women, self-determination and national independence, and the rights of children.
This small collection contains the records of Zelia Ruebhausen, former chair of the Women's Africa Committee, and includes publications, correspondence, reports, minutes, photographs, scrapbooks, "case histories," and clippings. The records focus on their Community Service Program, in which African community leaders participated in American women's volunteer and educational efforts. The records illuminate American efforts at cultural exchange with the emerging independent African nations.
Lawyer, feminist, judge, and political activist. The Kenyon collection illuminates the continuity of social activism around such issues as race, class, poverty, and gender from the 1930s-60s. Topics reflected include worldwide suffrage; abortion rights; minority legal rights; the Equal Rights Amendment; and civil rights. Materials include writings, speeches, organizational records, photographs, memorabilia, and audio tapes of interviews and speeches. Significant correspondents include: Bella Abzug, Florence Allen, Mary Dewson, India Edwards, Felix Frankfurter, Betty Friedan, Hubert Humphrey, Fiorello LaGuardia, Frieda Miller, Pauli Murray, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Harriet Pilpel, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elihu Root, Anna Lord Strauss, and Harry Truman.
The editors of Women and Social Movements International organized two extraordinary sessions at the 2011 Berkshire Conference in Women's History, assembling six leaders who have shaped women’s international activism through the United Nations' Conferences on Women, 1975-1995. Here you can access an interview of Sonia Alvarez. Other interviewees include: Charlotte Bunch, Arvonnne Fraser, Rounaq Jahan, Devaki Jain, Mildred Persinger, and Peggy Simpson.