Browse Chronology

This timeline highlights new elements in women's international activism, 1800-2010, such as the founding of major women's international organizations. It does not enumerate all major international women's conferences or events. For more detailed listings, see "Browse Organizations."

Year Event  
1800 Boston Female Society for Missionary Purposes founded  
1840 World's Anti-Slavery Convention, London  
1848-1869 Eighteen Women's Rights Conventions in the United States, many of which were attended by British and European women.  
1875 Inaugural Meeting of the British and Contintental Federation (later the International Abolitionist Federation (IAF)), Liverpool  
1878 Congrès international du droit des femmes, Paris  
1883 Organization of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU), Chicago  
1888 International Council of Women (ICW) founded in Washington, D.C.,at conference called by the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA)  
1889 Congrès francais et international du droit des femmes, Paris  
1891 First Convention of the WWCTU, Boston  
1893 World's Congress of Representative Women, convened by the ICW, during World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago  
1898 First Conference of the World Young Women's Christian Association (WYWCA), London  
1902 International Woman Suffrage Conference, Washington, D.C.: Led to founding of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) in 1904,
later the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship in 1926, and finally the International Alliance of Women (IAW) in 1946
 
1907 First International Conference of Socialist Women, Stuttgart (later the International Socialist Women's Committee in 1926, then the International
Council of Social Democratic Women in 1955, and finally, the Socialist International Women in 1978)
 
1910 Jewish International Conference on the Suppression of the Traffic in Girls and Women, London, by the Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women  
1912 Founding of International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW)  
1912 First Congress of the Men's International Alliance for Women's Suffrage, London  
1914 World War I begins  
1915 International Congress of Women for Permanent Peace, The Hague  
1915 International Conference of Women Workers at Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco  
1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia  
1918 World War I ends  
1919 International Congress of Women, Zurich - Founding meeting of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)  
1919 Founding of the League of Nations and the International Labour Organisation  
1919 First International Congress of Working Women, Washington, D.C.  
1920 First Conference of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), London  
1920 Founding of Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO), London  
1921 First World WIZO Conference, Karlsbad  
1921 Founding of International Cooperative Women's Guild (ICWG), Basle  
1922 Emergency Peace Conference, The Hague, WILPF  
1922 National League of Women Voters Pan-American Convention in Baltimore, 1922, which contributed to the later founding of the
Inter-American Commission of Women (IACW)
 
1922 Margaret Sanger world trip  
1923 Third and last International Congress of Working Women, Vienna  
1923 World Congress of Jewish Women, Vienna  
1924 ICW Conference of the Prevention of the Causes of War at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, London  
1925 Liaison Committee of Women's International Organizations established at the League of Nations  
1928 First Pan-Pacific Women's Conference, Honolulu (PPSEAWA)  
1928 Inter-American Commission of Women authorized at the Sixth International Conference of American States, Havana  
1929 First International Conference of Rural Women, London  
1929 Founding of Open Door International for the Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker (ODI) and the First Conference, Berlin  
1930 First Conference of the Inter-American Commission of Women, Havana  
1931 First Conference of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (later Business and Professional Women International)  
1931 First All-Asian Women's Conference, Lahore, India  
1933 Founding of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), Stockholm  
1934 Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Cuba Signed the Equal Rights Treaty at the Seventh International Conference of American States, Montevideo  
1935 Margaret Sanger trip to India  
1936 World Peace Congress, Brussels  
1938 Incorporation of the World Woman's Party (WWP), Washington D.C.  
1939 World War II begins  
1940 Woman's Centennial Congress, New York City  
1945 World War II ends  
1945 Founding of the United Nations, San Francisco  
1945 Congrès International Des Femmes, Paris - Founding of the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF)  
1946 Founding of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) initially as a subcommittee of the Commission on Human Rights  
1947 Founding of the Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund as part of the League of Women Voters to help women in former totalitarian countries
(later the Overseas Education Fund in 1961, then the OEF International in 1986)
 
1949 First Triennial Convention of the ICJW, Paris  
1952 Founding of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) at the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood, Bombay  
1954 Journey of Friendship undertaken by Dorothy Hutchinson and Hazel DuBois  
1959 Founding of the Women's Africa Committee of the African-American Institute  
1967 UN General Assembly approves Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women  
1975 United Nations launches International Women's Year and Un Decade for Women (1975-1985)  
1975 First World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, Mexico City  
1975 Founding of the International Women's Tribune Centre  
1979 United Nations General Assembly adopts the Convention to End Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)  
1980 Second World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, Copenhagen  
1983 Founding of MADRE  
1984 Founding of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Bangalore, India  
1985 Third World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, Nairobi  
1985 Third World Women's Forum in conjunction with the United Nations Third World Conference of the Decade for Women, Nairobi  
1985 Founding of the International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW)  
1986 First Conference of the Arab Women's Solidarity Association  
1988 First Conference of the Ecumenical Decade for Women (1988-1998)  
1989 Founding of the Center for Women's Global Leadership  
1992 Founding of Equality Now  
1993 World Conference on Human Rights hosted by the United Nations, Vienna  
1994 Founding of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women  
1995 Fourth World Conference on Women hosted by the United Nations, Beijing  
2007 Casablanca Dream Conference, an initiative of women of the Global South  
2010 UN Women founded by the United Nations to promote "the needs of women and girls worldwide"