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International Women's YearThe Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History$
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Jocelyn Olcott

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195327687.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
International Women's Year

Jocelyn Olcott

Oxford University Press

The introduction examines some of the mythology and misconceptions surrounding the International Women’s Year (IWY) conference. It particularly considers the fictional confrontation between the US feminist Betty Friedan and the Bolivian labor activist Domitila Barrios de Chungara and why that imagined encounter came over time to stand in for the conference itself. It describes the ways that IWY was shaped by debates of the 1970s over questions such as sovereignty and geopolitics, the meanings of development and feminism, and the changing nature of civil society. It explains how the three UN-designated IWY themes—equality, development, and peace—stood in for geopolitical divides but had become widely contested concepts.

Keywords:   Betty Friedan, Domitila Barrios de Chungara, International Women’s Year, IWY, postcolonial cosmopolitans, 1970s, Non-Aligned Movement, Cold War, feminism, civil society

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