Soviet Women and the Women's International Democratic Federation Struggle for Women's Rights’

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor, IRES Library
  • Website
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Phone: 018 471 1630
  • Föreläsning

with Yulia Gradskova (Stockholm University)

The presentation is dedicated to the work of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) in the 1950s-1970s. The Federation was created in 1945 in Paris as transnational leftist organization advocating peace and women’s and children’s rights. However, WIDF was also on the CIA list as a  “Communist organization”; WIDF was forced to move from France to the East Berlin in 1951 in the context of wars in Vietnam. The presentation is focused on the period marked by the Soviet support for the anticolonial and independence movement in Asia and Africa as well as by destalinization after the CPSU’s 20th congress. Using archive materials from the Committee of Soviet Women (Moscow), in particular, the correspondence between the Committee and their representatives in the WIDF’s Secretariat in Berlin, in my presentation I will discuss how the struggle for women’s rights was discussed by the Soviet women and how the emancipation of women in the Soviet Union and other countries of state socialism were used in this campaign. My special focus will be on the Soviet representations of the emancipation of women in the republics of the Central Asia as example for “women of the whole world”. 

Yulia Gradskova is Associate Professor in History, Stockholm University, Department of History. She is the co-editor (with Ildiko Asztalos Morell) of Gendering Postsocialism: Old Legacies and New Hierarchies (Routledge 2018) and author of Soviet Politics of Emancipation of Ethnic Minority Woman, Natsionalka. (Springer, 2018). Her current research project supported by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) is dedicated to the Women's International Democratic Federation and women from the "Third World".

Soviet Women and the Women's International Democratic Federation Struggle for Women's Rights’