Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Inter-American Commission of Women Records, 1928-1976
Smith College seal
Inter-American Commission of Women Records, 1928-1976
6 boxes (2.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: 312

Abstract:
The Inter-American Commission of Women Records primarily consists of bulletins, publications, and reports (many in Spanish), as well as correspondence, clippings, photographs, and reports. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1933 and 1959.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership is unknown. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

The Inter-American Commission of Women (IACW)/ComisiĆ³n Interamericano de Mujeres (CIM) was established in 1928 "to work for the extension of civil, political, economic, and social rights to the women of [the Americas]; to study their problems and propose means of solving them." The IACW was established in response to pressure applied on the Pan American Union during the Sixth International Conference of American States in Havana, Cuba. Its Secretariat is attached to the General Secretariat of the Pan American Union's successor, the Organization of American States, as such it is the first international governmental entity established to advocate for women's political and civil rights.

Doris Stevens, of the National Woman's Party in the U.S., was appointed first chairman of the Commission of twenty-one members, one from each country in North, Central, and South America. Stevens served from 1928 until 1939.

In its early years IACW collected comprehensive information on women's civil and political status in each of the countries represented by the Commission and brought two proposals to the Pan American Union for ratification: the "Convention on Equality of Nationality" and a "Treaty on Equal Civil and Political Rights." The Convention required countries in the Pan American Union to abolish laws impacting the status of women who married foreign nationals. It was signed at the Seventh International Conference of American States in 1933. The Treaty advocated for ensuring women's rights to vote and hold office. It was not ultimately ratified by the Pan American Union.

At the Eighth International Conference of American States in 1938, IACW was established as a permanent organization. President Franklin D. Roosevelt replaced Doris Stevens as U.S. representative to the Commission in 1939. The second chair was Ana Rosa S. de Martinez Guerrero of Argentina. Under its new leadership, IACW continued to advocate for women's legal and civil rights, but chose not to challenge protective labor legislation, citing women's childbearing role.

In the 1950s and 60s IACW's focus expanded to include such things as education, working conditions, and access to health care and other public services. The impact of the women's movement of the 1970s brought advocacy for "social participation and a voice in the decision-making process."

Since 1955, IACW has regularly reported to the United Nations on the status of women in the Americas and works to implement U.N. Conventions in the Western Hemisphere.

According to its Web site, the IACW today is "the principal forum for debating and formulating policy on women's rights and gender equality in the Americas." For more information see: http://www.oas.org/en/cim/.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Inter-American Commission of Women Records consist of 2.25 linear ft. consisting primarily of bulletins, publications, and reports (many in Spanish). There is also a small amount of correspondence; clippings; biographical sketches of Doris Stevens, first chair of the IACW; photographs of the 11th Assembly; and other materials. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1933 and 1959. Included are IACW reports to the International Conference of American States (1933-48) and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1948-63).


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership is unknown. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Inter-American Commission of Women Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection
Custodial history:

Muna Lee, a central and south America regional specialist at the U.S. Department of State, donated much of the material that makes up the Inter-American Commission on Women Records beginning in 1948. Materials related to the 1972 Inter-American Specialized Conference on the Integral Education of Women came via Elizabeth Tolman, a Smith College alumna and long-time economic officer in the U.S. Department of State.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2015.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English and Spanish

Contents List
SERIES I. GENERAL AND HISTORICAL MATERIALS



General,
1928-72, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1-3
Equal Nationality Treaty,
1934

Box 1: folder 4
Libro de Oro/Gold Book, fiftieth anniversary publication,
1980

Box 1: folder 5
News Bulletin, with "Brief Description of the Creation of the Inter-American Commission of Women," No.
29, Jun 1969

Box 1: folder 6
Pan American Union,
1948-56, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Stevens, Doris,
1919-34, n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
Women's Consultative Committee on Nationality,
1933-35

Box 1: folder 9
SERIES II. ASSEMBLY



General Assembly,
1944

Box 2: folder 1
Seventh,
1951

Box 2: folder 2
Ninth,
1953

Box 2: folder 3
Tenth,
1955

Box 2: folder 4
Eleventh,
1956

Box 2
Resolutions


Box 2: folder 5
Photographs


Box 2: folder 6
Twelfth, 1957: documents 0-20


Box 2: folder 7-11
Thirteenth,documents
1959:

Box 2
Dec 1958-25 May 1959

Box 2: folder 12-14
26 May-Jul 1959

Box 3: folder 1-8
Fifteenth,
1970

Box 3: folder 9
Sixteenth,
1972

Box 3: folder 10
Special Assembly,
1961

Box 3: folder 11
Third Special Assembly,
1963

Box 3: folder 12
SERIES III. CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS



First Conference,
1930

Box 3: folder 13
First Regional Seminar
1951

Box 3: folder 14
Segundo Curso Regional de Adiestramiento para Mujeres Dirigentes, Santiago de Chile
1967 April 10 to May 20

Box 3: folder 15
Inter-American Specialized Conference on the Integral Education of Women, Buenos Aires, Argentina,
20-25 Aug 1972

Box 3
Conference binder


Box 3
Folders 1-3


Box 3: folder 16-18
Folders 4-5


Box 4: folder 1-2
Reference material


Box 4: folder 3
Hemispheric Conference for Women,
1976

Box 4: folder 4
SERIES IV. REPORTS



To the International Conference of American States


Box 4
Seventh, Motevideo, Uruguay,
Dec 1933

Box 4
The Nationality of Women


Box 4: folder 5
Civil and Political Rights of Women/Derechos Civiles y Politicos de la Mujer


Box 4
Minutes and antecedents


Box 4: folder 6
Chile


Box 4: folder 7
Columbia


Box 5: folder 1
Cuba


Box 5: folder 2
Ecuador


Box 5: folder 3
Honduras


Box 5: folder 4
Peru


Box 5: folder 5
Uruguay


Box 5: folder 6
A Comparison of the Political and Civil Rights of Men and Women in the United States


Box 6: folder 1
Eighth,
1938

Box 6: folder 2
Ninth,
1948

Box 6: folder 3
To the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women,
1948-63

Box 6: folder 4-7

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Inter-American Commission of Women--History--Sources
  • Organization of American States--History--Sources
  • Women--Central America--Social conditions
  • Women--International cooperation--Congresses
  • Women--United States--Social conditions


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search