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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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Choosing Battles in the Cold War

Choosing Battles in the Cold War

(p.34) Scene 2 Choosing Battles in the Cold War
International Women's Year

Jocelyn Olcott

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how two camps emerged among NGO leaders planning IWY activities. A small group of New York–based women focused its efforts on political equality and educational and economic opportunities for women, reflecting its US orientation. A larger, more diverse group centered in Geneva concentrated more on human rights, social justice issues such as racial discrimination and apartheid, and global disparities of wealth. These debates occurred against a backdrop of UN debates over economic sovereignty and the conflicts between Israel and its neighbors. As the United States increasingly served as a punching bag at the UN, the State Department began to see women’s rights as an arena where it might curry favor; it substantially increased the resources dedicated to IWY and supported calls for a UN-sponsored IWY conference to overshadow the planned NGO conference in East Berlin.

Keywords:   human rights, New International Economic Order, NIEO, Charter on the Economic Rights and Duties of States, G-77, NGOs, US foreign policy, State Department, United Nations

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