International Women's Year
The Greatest Consciousness-raising Event in History
Oxford University Press 2017
New Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Human RightsNew Books in Latin American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network August 25, 2017 Lilian Calles Barger
Jocelyn Olcott is an associate professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her book International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-raising Event in History (Oxford University Press, 2017) examines the genesis of the UN’s 1975 International Women’s Year (IWY) and the two-week conference of NGOs and government officials held in Mexico City. From the planning to the gathering itself there were conflicts regarding what were the significant women’s issues among the worlds geopolitical divides. Cold War competition colored how delegates, often from the same nation, differed in their expectations. Women from third-world nations expressing concern with the status of subsistence labor, gender violence and racism clashed with women from first-world nation’s concern with marketplace and sexual rights. Conservative, liberal, and radical groups competed for attention and the opportunity to influence the official World Plan of Action. In identifying the most pressing concerns global politics and intersectionality experienced by many could not be avoided. Olcott offers insight into the riveting back stories, conflicts, personalities, and enduring legacy of the IWY a pivotal event for what became known as global feminism.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is tentatively entitled The World Come of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation forthcoming from Oxford University Press.