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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 Latin American Contribution to the Constitution of the World

The Latin American Contribution to the Constitution of the World

(p.198) Chapter Eight The Latin American Contribution to the Constitution of the World
Feminism for the Americas

Katherine M. Marino

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explains how Latin American feminists pushed women’s rights into the United Nations Charter at the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) in San Francisco. Bertha Lutz and a number of Latin American feminists with whom she collaborated–Minerva Bernardino from the Dominican Republic, Amalia de Castillo Ledón from Mexico, and Isabel Pinto de Vidal from Uruguay–as well as Jessie Street from Australia, were responsible for pushing women’s rights into several parts of the UN Charter and for proposing what became the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. They did this over the express objections of the U.S. and British female delegates to the conference who believed that women’s rights were too controversial or not important enough to include. These Latin American women also worked alongside representatives from “smaller nations” and from U.S. non-governmental organizations like the NAACP to push “human rights” into the Charter. At the UNCIO, the racism that Lutz experienced from U.S. and British delegates, lack of U.S. and British support, and overweening power of the "Big Four" in the constitution of the United Nations, caused her to turn away from her long-time Anglo-American-philia and identify as a "Latin American."

Keywords:   Bertha Lutz, United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), United Nations Charter, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, human rights, Minerva Bernardino, Amalia de Castillo Ledón, Isabel Pinto de Vidal

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