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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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39 The Emergence and Transformation of the International Women's Movement

Nitza Berkovitch

The Interwar Period: Lobbying for Expansion of the World Agenda

The world polity after World War I differed markedly from that of the previous period. Earlier dreams of establishing permanent international cooperative bodies were realized with the creation of the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO), which ushered in a new phase of world-polity construction. The League and the ILO, both created at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, constituted the first stable organizational basis for inter-state cooperation. They opened a new arena for women's mobilization by offering a central world focal point that theretofore had been lacking. In so doing, they changed the context in which women's organizations operated, consequently provoking changes in their modes of operation as well. Their main effort now targeted the newly created international bodies.

By turning their attention to the new world bodies, women's organizations conferred legitimacy on them and thus helped institutionalize their centrality. At the same time, the degree of organization and cooperation among women's groups increased. Many women's organizations moved their headquarters to Geneva to facilitate contacts with the various bodies of the League, while others established specialized bureaus expressly to deal with the League. In addition, a new type of organization emerged, the multi- or supra-international ...

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