In the mid-1990s, when the United Nations adopted positions affirming a woman's right to be free from bodily harm and to control her own reproductive health, it was both a coup for the international women's rights movement and an instructive moment for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to influence UN decision making.
Prior to the UN General Assembly's 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women and the 1994 decision by the UN's Conference on Population and Development to vault women's reproductive rights and health to the forefront of its global population growth management program, there was little consensus among governments as to what constituted violence against women and how much control a woman should have over reproduction. Jutta Joachim tells the story of how, in the years leading up to these decisions, women's organizations got savvy—framing the issues strategically, seizing political opportunities in the international environment, and taking advantage of mobilizing structures—and overcame the cultural opposition of many UN-member states to broadly define the two issues and ultimately cement women's rights as an international cause.
Joachim's deft examination of the documents, proceedings, and actions of the UN and women's advocacy NGOs—supplemented by interviews with key players from concerned parties, and her own participant-observation—reveals flaws in state-centered international relations theories as applied to UN policy, details the tactics and methods that NGOs can employ in order to push rights issues onto the UN agenda, and offers insights into the factors that affect NGO influence. In so doing, Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs departs from conventional international relations theory by drawing on social movement literature to illustrate how rights groups can motivate change at the international level.
American Girls and Global Responsibility brings together insights from Cold War culture studies, girls’ studies, and the history of gender and militarization to shed new light on how age and gender work together to form categories of citizenship.
Jennifer Helgren argues that a new internationalist girl citizenship took root in the country in the years following World War II in youth organizations such as Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts, YWCA Y-Teens, schools, and even magazines like Seventeen. She shows the particular ways that girls’ identities and roles were configured, and reveals the links between internationalist youth culture, mainstream U.S. educational goals, and the U.S. government in creating and marketing that internationalist girl, thus shaping the girls’ sense of responsibilities as citizens.
This collection of twenty-six original essays looks at contemporary feminist organizations, how they've survived, the effects of their work, the problems they face, the strategies they develop, and where the women's movement is headed. The contributors, leading feminist scholars from nine social science disciplines, examine a wide variety of local feminist organizations, past and preset, illuminating the struggles of feminist organizers and activists.
In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.
The first comprehensive history of the oldest national religious Jewish women's organization in the United States.
"A comprehensive history of the oldest religious Jewish women's organization in the US, exploring the council's uniquely female approach to such issues as immigrant aid, relationships between German and Eastern European Jews, and the power struggle between the Reform movement and more traditional interpretations of Judaisms." —Reference and Research Book News
"Rogow clearly has mastered the history of American women and the history of the Jewish people in America, and she has laid out the story of one of the most significant and certainly enduring Jewish women's organizations." —American Historical Review
This book provides the very first in-depth analysis of the founding decades of a major Hillel chapter in the United States. Hillel at the University of Michigan was founded in 1926 as the fourth such chapter in the United States following its establishment at three other public universities in the Midwest: Illinois (1923); Wisconsin (1924); Ohio State (1925).
The study analyzes Hillel's challenges as a big-tent, catch-all institution trying to represent all Jewish students on campus regardless of their religious orientation, cultural preferences, and ideological predilections. It looks at Hillel's interactions with the then powerful Jewish fraternities and sororities that provided the main locus of Jewish life on campus at the time, as well as its relations with the University's leadership and many of its cultural and political constituencies. Most of these activities occurred at a time when anti-Semitism was rife in the United States, particularly in the larger Detroit area, home to Henry Ford and Father Charles Edward Coughlin.
Winner of the 1995 University of Illinois Press-National Women's Studies Association manuscript prize
Women's clubs at the turn of the century were numerous, dedicated to
a number of issues, and crossed class, religious, and racial lines. Emphasizing
the intimacy engendered by shared reading and writing in these groups,
Anne Ruggles Gere contends that these literacy practices meant that club
members took an active part in reinventing the nation during a period
of major change. Gere uses archival material that documents club members'
perspectives and activities around such issues as Americanization, womanhood,
peace, consumerism, benevolence, taste, and literature--and offers a rare
depth of insight into the interests and lives of American women from the
fin de siècle through the beginning of the roaring twenties. Intimate Practices is unique in its exploration of a range of
women's clubs--Mormon, Jewish, white middle-class, African American, and
working class--and paints a vast and colorful multicultural, multifaceted
canvas of these widely-divergent women's groups.
The first in-depth analysis of the black feminist movement, Living for the Revolution fills in a crucial but overlooked chapter in African American, women’s, and social movement history. Through original oral history interviews with key activists and analysis of previously unexamined organizational records, Kimberly Springer traces the emergence, life, and decline of several black feminist organizations: the Third World Women’s Alliance, Black Women Organized for Action, the National Black Feminist Organization, the National Alliance of Black Feminists, and the Combahee River Collective. The first of these to form was founded in 1968; all five were defunct by 1980. Springer demonstrates that these organizations led the way in articulating an activist vision formed by the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality.
The organizations that Springer examines were the first to explicitly use feminist theory to further the work of previous black women’s organizations. As she describes, they emerged in response to marginalization in the civil rights and women’s movements, stereotyping in popular culture, and misrepresentation in public policy. Springer compares the organizations’ ideologies, goals, activities, memberships, leadership styles, finances, and communication strategies. Reflecting on the conflicts, lack of resources, and burnout that led to the demise of these groups, she considers the future of black feminist organizing, particularly at the national level. Living for the Revolution is an essential reference: it provides the history of a movement that influenced black feminist theory and civil rights activism for decades to come.
The Modern Age examines the discourses that have come to characterize adolescence and argues that commonplace views of adolescents as impulsive, conflicted, and rebellious are constructions inspired by broader cultural anxieties that characterized American society in early-twentieth-century America.
The idea of adolescence, argues Kent Baxter, came into being because it fulfilled specific historical and cultural needs: to define a quickly expanding segment of the population, and to express concerns associated with the movement into a new era. Adolescence—a term that had little currency before 1900 and made a sudden and pronounced appearance in a wide variety of discourses thereafter—is a “modern age” not only because it sprung from changes in American society that are synonymous with modernity, but also because it came to represent all that was threatening about “modern life.”
Baxter provides a preliminary history of adolescence, focusing specifically on changes in the American educational system and the creation of the juvenile justice system that carved out a developmental space between the child and the adult. He looks at the psychological works of G. Stanley Hall and the anthropological works of Margaret Mead and explores what might have inspired their markedly negative descriptions of this new demographic. He examines the rise of the Woodcraft Indian youth movement and its promotion of “red skin” values while also studying the proliferation of off-reservation boarding schools for Native American youth, where educators attempted to eradicate the very “red skin” values promoted by the Woodcraft movement.
Finally Baxter studies reading at the turn of the century, focusing specifically on Horatio Alger (the Ragged Dick series) and Edward Stratemeyer (the Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys series) and what those works reveal about the “problem” of adolescence and its solutions in terms of value, both economic and moral.
Natural Allies, based on painstaking research begun more than 30 years ago when Anne Frior Scott was preparing her now-classic The Southern Lady, is clear and highly readable. It will appeal not only to historians and sociologists but also to anyone working with or studying voluntary organizations.
"Both an engaging survey of existing scholarship and a plea for additional research. . . . With wry humor and impassioned scholarship Anne Frior Scott teaches us that the more we are able to learn about women . . . 'the more we will understand about the society that has shaped us all.'"
-- New York Times Book Review
The coalition known as the National Council of Women’s Organizations no longer exists today, but the history and the lessons learned from the NCWO’s activism remain as important as ever—perhaps even more so in this age of Trump. Laura Woliver spent fifteen years doing fieldwork and conducting research and interviews to understand how the NCWO coalition group functioned. The result is her impressive study, Push Back, Move Forward.
Woliver explores the foundational work of the NCWO and member groups to promote women’s economic security, citizen status, and political rights. She investigates women’s access to previously “male only” organizations, such as private clubs; the increase in voter participation generated by measures such as early voting; advocacy campaigns for such benefit programs as Social Security and the Affordable Care Act; and global human and women’s rights activism. In addition, she examines the accomplishments of women of color, both alongside and within the NCWO, who orient their politics toward achieving justice and attaining rights.
Push Back, Move Forward artfully documents this important group’s activities while also gleaning larger lessons about coalition organizations.
Most narratives depict Soviet Cold War cultural activities and youth groups as drab and dreary, militant and politicized. In this study Gleb Tsipursky challenges these stereotypes in a revealing portrayal of Soviet youth and state-sponsored popular culture.
The primary local venues for Soviet culture were the tens of thousands of klubs where young people found entertainment, leisure, social life, and romance. Here sports, dance, film, theater, music, lectures, and political meetings became vehicles to disseminate a socialist version of modernity. The Soviet way of life was dutifully presented and perceived as the most progressive and advanced, in an attempt to stave off Western influences. In effect, socialist fun became very serious business. As Tsipursky shows, however, Western culture did infiltrate these activities, particularly at local levels, where participants and organizers deceptively cloaked their offerings to appeal to their own audiences. Thus, Soviet modernity evolved as a complex and multivalent ideological device.
Tsipursky provides a fresh and original examination of the Kremlin’s paramount effort to shape young lives, consumption, popular culture, and to build an emotional community—all against the backdrop of Cold War struggles to win hearts and minds both at home and abroad.
Women and Politics in Uganda
Aili Mari Tripp University of Wisconsin Press, 2000 Library of Congress HQ1236.5.U33T75 2000 | Dewey Decimal 305.42096761
Uganda has attracted much attention and political visibility for its significant economic recovery after a catastrophic decline. In her groundbreaking book, Aili Mari Tripp provides extensive data and analysis of patterns of political behavior and institutions by focusing on the unique success of indigenous women’s organizations.
Tripp explores why the women’s movement grew so dramatically in such a short time after the National Resistant Movement took over in 1986. Unlike many African countries where organizations and institutions are controlled by a ruling party or regime, the Ugandan women’s movement gained its momentum by remaining autonomous.
The majority of American women supported the Allied cause during World War II. and made sacrifices on the home front to benefit the war effort. But U.S. intervention was opposed by a movement led by ultraright women whose professed desire to keep their sons out of combat was mixed with militant Christianity, anticommunism, and anti-Semitism. This book is the first history of the self-styled "mothers' movement," so called because among its component groups were the National Legion of Mothers of America, the Mothers of Sons Forum, and the National Blue Star Mothers.
Unlike leftist antiwar movements, the mothers' movement was not pacifist; its members opposed the war on Germany because they regarded Hitler as an ally against the spread of atheistic communism. They also differed from leftist women in their endorsement of patriarchy and nationalism. God, they believed, wanted them to fight the New Deal liberalism that imperiled their values and the internationalists, communists, and Jews, whom they saw as subjugating Christian America.
Jeansonne examines the motivations of these women, the political and social impact of their movement, and their collaborations with men of the far right and also with mainstream isolationists such as Charles Lindbergh. Drawing on files kept by the FBI and other confidential documents, this book sheds light on the history of the war era and on women's place within the far right.
Through in-depth interviews with activists, the authors provide a broad and thorough introduction to the emerging women's movement and women's organizations in Russia. The focus is on the development of women's activism in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and the challenges for activists in a time of resurgent nationalism and turmoil over democratic reform.
Linda Racioppi and Katherine O'Sullivan See present a concise history of women's situation in tsarist Soviet Russia, which shows how their ability to organize was constrained by social strictures and state policies. They also analyze how the state-sponsored Soviet Women's Committee and new groups like the Independent Women's Forum, the Women's League, and the International Institute for Entrepreneurial Development responded to the challenges and opportunities of the transition. The authors examine the dynamics among these groups as well. The personal life histories of the activists reflect the ways women have responded to the changing political, economic, and social landscape in the former Soviet Union.
This is the first comprehensive history of the Women's Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC), a large umbrella organization founded by former suffrage leaders in 1920 in order to coordinate organized women's reform. Encompassing nearly every major national women's organization of its time, the WJCC evolved into a powerful lobbying force for the legislative agendas of twelve million women, and was recognized by critics and supporters alike as "the most powerful lobby in Washington."
Through a close examination of the WJCC's most consequential and contentious campaigns, Jan Doolittle Wilson demonstrates organized women's strategies and initial success in generating congressional and grassroots support for their far-reaching, progressive reforms. By using the WJCC as a lens through which to analyze women's political culture during the 1920s, the book also sheds new light on the initially successful ways women lobbied for social legislation, the inherent limitations of that process for pursuing class-based reforms, and the enormous difficulties faced by women trying to expand public responsibility for social welfare in the years following the Nineteenth Amendment's passage.
A volume in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor Scott, Susan Armitage, Susan K. Cahn, and Deborah Gray White
The transition to democracy in South Africa was one of the defining events in twentieth-century political history. The South African women’s movement is one of the most celebrated on the African continent. Shireen Hassim examines interactions between the two as she explores the gendered nature of liberation and regime change. Her work reveals how women’s political organizations both shaped and were shaped by the broader democratic movement. Alternately asserting their political independence and giving precedence to the democratic movement as a whole, women activists proved flexible and remarkably successful in influencing policy. At the same time, their feminism was profoundly shaped by the context of democratic and nationalist ideologies. In reading the last twenty-five years of South African history through a feminist framework, Hassim offers fresh insights into the interactions between civil society, political parties, and the state.
Hassim boldly confronts sensitive issues such as the tensions between autonomy and political dependency in feminists’ engagement with the African National Congress (ANC) and other democratic movements, and black-white relations within women’s organizations. She offers a historically informed discussion of the challenges facing feminist activists during a time of nationalist struggle and democratization.
Winner, Victoria Schuck Award for best book on women and politics, American Political Science Association
“An exceptional study, based on extensive research. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“A rich history of women’s organizations in South African . . . . [Hassim] had observed at first hand, and often participated in, much of what she described. She had access to the informants and private archives that so enliven the narrative and enrich the analysis. She provides a finely balanced assessment.”—Gretchen Bauer, African Studies Review