Introduction: international feminisms

A. Allen, A. Cova, June Purvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article approaches international feminisms in historical comparative perspective by looking at three feminist federations, called national councils of women, that were established in France, Italy and Portugal in 1901, 1903 and 1914, respectively. All of these organisations emerged from the International Council of Women, which had been founded in Washington in 1888 'to stimulate the sentiment of internationalism among women throughout the world', as an attempt to build a collective women's identity. The comparison between France, Italy and Portugal during the first three decades of the twentieth century must take into account the fact that the last two countries faced authoritarian regimes (fascist and Salazarist dictatorships, respectively) while, by contrast, France spent the period considered in this article under the Third Republic. After examining the origins of these three national councils of women, the focus will be on their common agenda, taking into account the national contexts to which they had to adapt themselves. The aim of this article is to contribute to the history of transnational feminisms and to a comparative women's history of the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-501
Number of pages9
JournalWomen’s History Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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