Berkshire Conference, 2011

While assembling the online archive, “Women and Social Movements, International,” editors Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin came to appreciate the historical significance of the UN conferences on women, held in Mexico City in 1975, in Copenhagen in 1980, in Nairobi in1985, and in Beijing in 1995.   Particularly important, they thought, were the parallel conferences of women’s organizations that met alongside the official UN conferences, beginning with the NGO Tribune in Mexico City in 1975.  To celebrate the achievement of those conferences, Sklar and Dublin organized events at the 2011 Berkshire Conference in Women’s History that honored a group of women whose activism had created the parallel conferences and done much to reshape UN policies about women since 1975.   Those honorees are:

Charlotte Bunch
Arvonne Fraser
Rounaq Jahan
Devaki Jain
Mildred Persinger
Peggy Simpson

Click on names above for links to biographical sketches.

At the Berkshire Conference, Professor Laura Lovett of the University of Massachusetts and Professor Alice Hearst of Smith College organized teams of faculty and students who interviewed the honorees.  These interviews will soon be available online.

The international activists were also honored by a dinner at Smith College.  

The honorees spoke at two sessions at the Berkshire Conference, which were recorded and will soon be available online.

Click here to access photos of these events.