Research Guides

Women and Global Diplomacy: From Peace Movements to the United Nations

Introduction

Welcome to the Research Guide on women and global diplomacy. This guide was built to streamline the research process on this particular topic. It combines primary and secondary sources from both the archives and library of the United Nations at Geneva. The guide also includes links to relevant sites outside of the UNOG library and archives. The guide can be used as a tool to jump-start a research process, or just to gain insight on what role women and women's rights played on the international scale at the United Nations, League of Nations, and even before.

Today, the United Nations continues to strive to improve the treatment of women both within and outside of the organization. UN Women, CEDAW, and International Gender Champions are just some of the bodies within the United Nations currently focusing on improving the status of women worldwide.

"[The League of Nations was] the beginnings of the formulation of a 'dialectic,' indirect and two-way strategy that has been used to advance women's objectives throughout the history of the United Nations. When women found it very slow or impossible to promote their objectives at the national level...they took their issue to inter-governmental organizations." From The Unfinished Story of Women and the United Nations.

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International Gender Champions

Today, the International Gender Champions is a leadership network of female and male decision-makers within the United Nations. The network currently comprises of over 200 active Champions. Find out more about the Gender Champions here.

Visit the United Nations at Geneva's "Equality at a Glance" page to learn more about the objectives, timeline, and actors involved in pursuing gender equality at UNOG.

Women's Rights in International Organizations

The establishment of the League of Nations was for many at the time a symbol of hope for international cooperation and progress.​ Women's organizations especially made concerted efforts to have the issues which were most important to them recognized by the League. But much of the progress towards equality was hard-won. Continuing into the founding of the United Nations, feminists fought with both the men and women of their respective international organizations to achieve the level of progress we take for granted today. This LibGuide discusses the individual women and women's organizations who worked on an international scale to promote both what was best for women and what they believed was best for all of humanity.

Please note that some of the sub-fonds and series do not yet have a detailed description in the Archives Catalogue. Printed finding aids can be consulted in the Archives' Reading Room.  

Women's International Activism Today

To see how the fight for women's equality continues today, check out these useful links:

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United Nations Office at Geneva Policy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

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