Katherine M. Marino is an assistant professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) follows the many Latin American and Caribbean women in the first half of the century who not only championed feminism for the continent but also contributed to defining the meaning of international human rights. They drove a transnational movement for women’s suffrage that included equal work and maternity rights and the self-determination of their nations rejecting U.S. imperialism. Marino draws attention to the enduring contributions of women such as the Brazilian Bertha Lutz, Cuban Clara Gonzales and Chilean Marta Vergara who have yet to receive a significant place in human rights history. The work of Latin American and Caribbean feminist was impeded by internal race and class conflict, insufficient funding, lack of government support and by imperial assumptions of U.S. feminists. Their tenacious efforts through multiple organizations, gatherings, and personal networks led to the inclusion of women’s rights in the global human rights framework and assured that economic and social rights would not be sidelined. The book also illuminates the ideological differences that have plagued the global feminist movement and adds a significant piece to the history of human rights.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current research project is on the intellectual history of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir.
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