Geopolitics of sisterhood

Geopolitics of sisterhood.
Framing global feminism within the UN women’s conferences (1975–1995)

Fourth session of the 2023–2024 CEFRES Francophone Interdisciplinary Seminar The map and the border
This year, we would like to start by questioning the very act of bordering and representing (a territory, a period, a trajectory), in short, through the interdisciplinarity of our perspectives, to question the map and the border.

Location: CEFRES Library, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Dates: Friday, February 23rd, 10–11.30 am
Language: French

Discussant: Giedrė Šabasevičiūtė (Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences)


The seminar examines the conditions under which a feminism with an ambition to become a global movement formed. In this endeavour it focuses on interactions between women and institutions. The setting for this process are the four conferences on women by the UN from 1975 to 1995. Though the conferences are now perceived as a continuum, this period encompasses the end of the Cold War. The ideological conflict manifested itself among other things by different kinds of politicization of gender issues.

The effect of the geopolitical context of the time on the international perspective on/attitude to/approach to women’s rights is crucial. In the seminar, it will be viewed through the lens of a multifaceted examination reviewing the careers, rhetoric and backgrounds of actresses and organizations based in the United States. It is these stakeholders that have been the drivers of the transnational feminist mobilizations since 1975. They have sought to legitimize the guiding principles of the movement as “women’s rights” and gender mainstreaming. Even if these concepts nowadays enjoy a universal reach, they also erase the history and experience of international policies, institutions and bonds of solidarity promoted by socialist states.