Rethinking State Socialist Mass Women’s Organizations: The Committee of the Bulgarian Women’s Movement and the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985

Citation:

Ghodsee, Kristen. 2012. “Rethinking State Socialist Mass Women’s Organizations: The Committee of the Bulgarian Women’s Movement and the United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985.” Journal of Women’s History 24 (4): 49–73.

Author: Kristen Ghodsee

Abstract:

During the UN Decade for Women, representatives of the world’s governments came together for the first time to discuss the issues of equality, development, and peace in official intergovernmental forums, opening up an unexpected new front in the ongoing Cold War. While western women were concerned with legal and economic equality, socialist women in the Eastern Bloc argued that women's equality with men was useless in a world full of racism, violence, underdevelopment, colonialism, and war. Over the course of the decade, women from the developing world came to embrace the idea that feminist struggles could not be separated from the underlying political and economic conditions in which women lived, aligning themselves more closely with the socialist world. Through a case study of the Bulgarian Women's Movement, this article presents the UN Decade from the socialist women’s point of view, and argues that their contributions to the early international women's movement should no longer be ignored.

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Organizations, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bulgaria

Year: 2012

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