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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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Mobilizing Women’s Rights as Human Rights

Mobilizing Women’s Rights as Human Rights

(p.170) Chapter Seven Mobilizing Women’s Rights as Human Rights
Feminism for the Americas

Katherine M. Marino

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how, during the Second World War, Latin American feminists continued to push broad meanings of international women’s rights and human rights in spite of little support from their U.S. counterparts. The women from the U.S. Women’s and Children’s Bureaus who replaced Doris Stevens in the Inter-American Commission of Women avoided promoting women’s “equal rights” because of the fraught Equal Rights Amendment debate in the U.S. Latin American feminists effectively pushed these U.S. counterparts on a number of issues, including toward advocacy for maternity legislation, which Latin American feminists asserted as a human right. The Atlantic Charter and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which underscored social and economic rights, inspired Latin American feminists’ broad calls for human rights. Their framings included women’s rights, and greater economic security and multilateral relations in the Americas. These demands came together at the 1945 Chapultepec conference where a number of Latin American feminists in the Inter-American Commission of Women also paved the way for Latin American countries to appoint women to their delegations going to the conference that would create the United Nations.

Keywords:   Second World War, maternity legislation, Atlantic Charter, Four Freedoms, Chapultepec conference, human rights, Equal Rights Amendment, U.S. Women’s and Children’s Bureaus, Inter-American Commission of Women

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