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  • 12

    “In the Defense of the Rights of Women.” Women’s International Democratic Federation and the Soviet Politics towards the “Third World”

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speaker: Yulia Gradskova, Södertörn University.

    Chair: Yuliya Yurchuk, Södertörn University.

    Discussant: Helene Carlbäck, Södertörn University.

    The Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) was created in 1945 in Paris and usually is described as a pro-Moscow and Communist organization. The last, most probably, contributed to lack of interest to this organization from the side of the gender historians. At the same time, according to researcher of the transnational women’s movement, Francisca de Haan, in the Cold War period WIDF was one of the three largest international women’s organizations (de Haan, 2017, 520); it played an important role in world campaign for women’s rights. Thus, in my presentation I explore the role of WIDF in the context of the Cold War and fast changing world’s geography as a result of breakdown of the historical colonial empires in the 1950s-1960s. Assuming that WIDF was a kind of “Communist” or pro-Soviet organization it is particularly interesting to explore what strategies and discourses were employed for making alliances with women’s organizations from the colonial and dependent countries and what contradictions and conflicts were particularly visible. Answers to these questions will also help to understand better the historical place of the WIDF in the global movement for women’s rights. The presentation is based on the analysis of the archival materials (Moscow) as well as on the analysis of the WIDF’s official publications, including the magazine “Women of the Whole World”.

    Yulia Gradskova is an associate professor in history, Södertörn University (CBEES and Gender Studies).

    Time and place

    When: 12/11/18 at 13:00-14:30

    What: Higher seminar

    Where: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University

    Organiser: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

    Event language: English