Article ID: CBB895006810

Contesting ‘Global Sisterhood’: The Global Women's Health Movement, the United Nations and the Different Meanings of Reproductive Rights (1970s–80s) (2023)


The article contributes to a genealogy of the global articulation of reproductive rights principles, as established at the 1994 United Nations (UN) Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo and the UN Women's Conference held in Beijing the following year. It highlights the key role played by an emerging global women's health movement in the 1970s–80s, in shaping UN debates on family planning, women's rights in procreative choice and women's roles in socio-economic development. The article focuses on the International Campaign for Abortion, Sterilisation and Contraception (est. London 1978) and the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (Amsterdam and Manila 1984; ECOSOC consultative status in 1992). Adopting an intersectional perspective, the paper highlights the local embeddedness of feminist positions, the shortcomings of Western feminism and the ways in which conflicts between women's organisations allowed for an original and evolving concept of reproductive rights to emerge. It is based on UN papers and the archives of the above organisations and family planning movements.

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Authors & Contributors
O'Donnell, Kelly Suzanne
Hamblin, Jacob Darwin
Grimm, Kevin E.
Trapp, Ralf
Lena Joos
Pearson, Jessica Lynne
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of World History
Journal of Global History
History and Technology
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Environmental History
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
UNESCO Publishing
Springer International
Harvard University Press
Science and politics
International cooperation
International relations
Public health
Women's Health Movement
Seaman, Barbara
McNamara, Robert Strange
Gudger, Eugene Willis
Silow, Ronald Alfred
Salk, Jonas Edward
Nixon, Richard M.
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
15th century
United States
Timor Island
United Nations
World Health Organization (WHO)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
World Bank

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