Women's internationalism and Yugoslav-Indian connections: From the Non-Aligned Movement to the UN Decade for Women

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Bonfiglioli, Chiara
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Cambridge University Press
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This article addresses women’s cross-border internationalist connections within the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), focusing on the exchanges between women’s organizations in socialist Yugoslavia and the Global South during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as during the UN Decade for Women (1975–1985). As a result of the Soviet-Yugoslav split, Yugoslavia was expelled from the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), the main organization federating antifascist, communist, and socialist women, in 1949. To overcome international isolation, Yugoslav representatives established their own bilateral connections with women’s organizations internationally, particularly in the Global South. Throughout the Cold War, the main figure behind women’s internationalism in Yugoslavia was Vida Tomšič (1913–1998), a former partisan and leading politician, trained as a lawyer, who had a fundamental role both in nonaligned and UN settings. In this article, I further analyze Vida Tomšič’s visits to India, and examine her correspondence with Indian scholar and Women’s Studies pioneer Vina Mazumdar (1927–2013). The exchanges between Vina and Vida, as they amicably addressed each other, exemplify the significance of the alliance between activists from socialist countries and activists from the Global South during the UN Decade for Women.
India , Non-Aligned Movement , UN Decade for Women , Women's movements , Yugoslavia
Bonfiglioli, C. (2020) 'Women's internationalism and Yugoslav-Indian connections: From the Non-Aligned Movement to the UN Decade for Women', Nationalities Papers, 49(3), pp. 446-461. doi: 10.1017/nps.2020.11
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