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How A Women’s Rights Conference Became Known As ‘The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event In History

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Jocelyn Olcott
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Oxford University Press - 2017

In 1975 thousands of women from across the world gathered in Mexico City to discuss the state of the feminist movement. The U.N. had declared 1975 “International Women’s Year,” and a governmental conference in Mexico City served as the capstone event. 

Meanwhile, an NGO tribune took place in the city at the same time and drew some of the key leaders in feminism like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. The tribune and governmental conference also included women from poorer countries whose views of feminism were often at odds with their American counterparts.

In her new book “International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History” (Oxford University Press/2017), scholar Jocelyn Olcott examines the conference and how it shaped feminism in the 1970s.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Olcott about the conference and its legacy. Olcott is also an associate professor of history at Duke University in Durham. 

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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