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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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United Fronts for Women’s Rights and for Human Rights

United Fronts for Women’s Rights and for Human Rights

(p.145) Chapter Six United Fronts for Women’s Rights and for Human Rights
Feminism for the Americas

Katherine M. Marino

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how Latin American popular front feminists seized leadership of the Inter-American Commission of Women at the 1938 Eighth International Conference of American States in Lima and continued to expand the movement. Drawing on the groundwork paved by Ofelia Dom쭧uez Navarro, Clara Gonzoz, Paulina Luisi, Bertha Lutz, and Marta Vergara, who continued organizing in these years, the Unión de Mujeres Americanas, the Confederación Continental de Mujeres por la Paz, and a new force of Mexican poplar front feminists united. They promoted women’s social and economic rights, anti-fascism, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism as interconnected struggles. A leader in this network, the communist feminist Esperanza Balmaceda, who was appointed to the Mexican delegation to the Lima conference, collaborated there with Latin American feminists, the U.S. State Department, and U.S. female reformers in the Roosevelt administration to remove Stevens as chair of the Commission. At the same time, they mobilized a broader defense of what the Lima conference called “derechos humanos.” There and at the Congreso de Democracias in Montevideo, Uruguay, co-organized by Paulina Luisi, feminists asserted the need for a grassroots movement, for women’s rights treaties, and for broad commitments to human rights in the Americas.

Keywords:   Doris Stevens, Lima conference, Esperanza Balmaceda, Eighth International Conference of American States, Inter-American Commission of Women, Confederación Continental de Mujeres por la Paz, Popular Front Pan-American feminism, Congreso de Democracias, human rights, Paulina Luisi

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