1st Edition

Women and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Rebecca Adami Copyright 2019
    174 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    174 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Who were the non-Western women delegates who took part in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) from 1945-1948? Which member states did these women represent, and in what ways did they push for a more inclusive language than "the rights of Man" in the texts? This book provides a gendered historical narrative of human rights from the San Francisco Conference in 1945 to the final vote of the UDHR in the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. It highlights the contributions by Latin American feminist delegates, and the prominent non-Western female representatives from new member states of the UN.

    Introduction: A Counter Narrative to Earlier Research

    1. The San Francisco Conference – A Call to All Women

    2. A Charter Signed by Women?

    3. The United Nations 1946 – Will Women Have a Say?

    4. The Commission on Human Rights – or the "Rights of Man"?

    5. The Commission on the Status of Women – on Sisterhood

    6. A Lack of Acknowledgement – "Men" Trumps "All Human Beings"

    7. The Commission on Human Rights Pressured to Consider the Rights of Women

    8. The Third Committee – Rights in the Private Realm

    9. The Socialist Dissent – A Surprising Support for Women?

    10. Is a Vote in the General Assembly a Vote for the People?

    Epilogue: On Female Representation in the United Nations


    Rebecca Adami is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Education, Stockholm University and Associate Researcher at SOAS University of London.