"Worlds of Women" is a groundbreaking exploration of the "first
wave" of the international women's movement, from its late
nineteenth-century origins through the Second World War. Making
extensive use of archives in the United States, England, the
Netherlands, Germany, and France, Leila Rupp examines the histories
and accomplishments of three major transnational women's
organizations to tell the story of women's struggle to construct a
feminist international collective identity. She addresses questions
central to the study of women's history--how can women across the
world forge bonds, sometimes even through conflict, despite their
differences?--and questions central to world history--is
internationalism viable and how can its history be written?
Rupp focuses on three major organizations that were technically
open to all women: the broadly based and cautious International
Council of Women, founded in 1888; the feminist International
Alliance of Women, originally called the International Woman
Suffrage Alliance, founded in 1904; and the vanguard Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom, which grew out of the
International Congress of Women that met at The Hague in 1915. The
histories of these organizations, and their stories of cooperation
and competition, shed new light on the international women's
movement. They also help us to understand the different but
connected story of the second wave of international feminism that
emerged from the ashes of World War II.
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