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Feminism for the AmericasThe Making of an International Human Rights Movement$
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Katherine M. Marino

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649696

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649696.001.0001

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The Anti-imperialist Origins of International Women’s Rights

The Anti-imperialist Origins of International Women’s Rights

(p.40) Chapter Two The Anti-imperialist Origins of International Women’s Rights
Feminism for the Americas

Katherine M. Marino

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores how a group of feminists from Central America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. who spoke out against U.S. imperialism, revitalized Pan-American feminism and developed an international treaty for women’s rights. In 1926, at the Inter-American Congress of Women in Panama City, Panamanian Clara Gonzoz and Cuban Ofelia Dom쭧uez Navarro, carried the torch of Paulina Luisi’s Pan-Hispanic feminism. They argued for international women’s rights treaties and spoke out against U.S. empire in the region, including in the Panama Canal. Two years later, at the Sixth International Conference of American States in Havana, Cuba, anti-imperialist feminist solidarity emerged between Cuban feminists (including Dom쭧uez) and women from the U.S. National Woman’s Party who, together, gate-crashed the conference. Led by U.S. feminist Doris Stevens, these women marched in the streets of Havana and achieved a hearing at the conference plenary. At a time when U.S. marines were dive-bombing Nicaragua, feminists’ calls for national sovereignty and women’s sovereignty in an Equal Rights Treaty gained the favor of many Latin American statesmen in Havana. Although the treaty did not pass, their efforts resulted in the creation of the Inter-American Commission of Women which would give organizational form to Pan-American feminism for several decades.

Keywords:   Clara Gonzoz, Ofelia Dom쭧uez Navarro, Doris Stevens, U.S. National Woman’s Party, anti-imperialism, Panama Canal, Equal Rights Treaty, Inter-American Commission of Women, Nicaragua, Cuba

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