C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
Transnational female agency
Sunday, 28 June - 9:00 – 11:00
- ThemeC – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
- Benjamin Auberer (MLU Halle-Wittenberg)
- Laura Frey (University of Basel)
- Christian Gerdov (Mid Sweden University)
Women with a typewriter: The international career of Mabel Dorothea Weger
Women with a typewriter: The international career of Mabel Dorothea WegerThe proposed paper analyses the international career of the Australien born shorthand typist Dorothea Weger. Weger worked for the League of Nations and other international bodies during the 1920s and 1930s. While the career of Weger is unique in many respects and can hardly be generalized, following her international career nevertheless helps us to better understand the shape, structure and possibilities of the whole system. I argue the Secretariat of the League of Nations acted on the one hand as a center of gravitation for border-crossing and international lives. On the other hand, the emerging international job market in Geneva was a facilitator for the mobility of its employees. At the same time, following Weger’s career trajectory during the Second World War – when the internationalism of the League of Nations was under fire – we can see what happens when those border crossers enter back into national contexts: they attract suspicion up to the point where their internationalism is seen as standing against national interest.
Transnational strategies of the German women’s movement to acquire equal nationality rights
Transnational strategies of the German women’s movement to acquire equal nationality rightsOn 14 of March 1930 a joint demonstration organized by the International Council of Women and the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship took place in the Hague parallel to the first codification conference on nationality of the League of Nations. The main demand of the women’s organizations was to include a passage which stated that women would retain their nationality even upon marrying a foreigner. From 1804 onwards, with the establishment of the Code Civil in France, the idea of the unity of the family when it comes to citizenship rights was established and thereafter adopted by many other nations worldwide. This code meant that the change of citizenship status of the husband would affect the whole family. Already before the outbreak of World War I there were women’s movements in Europe and the Americas organizing on an inter- and transnational level to challenge this unity of the family in terms of national laws. A series of factors, including the experience of World War I with its exclusion of people based on nationality, the reestablishment of border controls and therefore the necessity of getting passports led to an increase focus on this topic on part of the women’s movements. This momentum led the first conference of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which took place in Zurich in May 1919, to pass a resolution requesting the League of Nations to set up a commission to deal with this topic. As a part of their struggle for a legal inclusion into the newly formed German nation state, members of the Federation of German Women’s Association used arguments ranging from nationalist claims to the general demand for women's equal rights. This paper will analyze their strategies to achieve equal nationality rights by bringing light to their involvement within the League of Nations, varying international women’s organizations as well as at the national German level.
Winning women for the West: Making the international Alliance of Women "truly international" (ca 1945-1965)
Winning women for the West: Making the international Alliance of Women "truly international" (ca 1945-1965)From the ashes of the Second World War, which, according to the historian Leila J. Rupp, “nearly severed international connections among women”, The International Alliance of Women sought to restore the ties between the women of the world. Its newly elected president, the Swedish archaeologist and prominent feminist, dr. Hanna Rydh sought to expand the organization eastwards. This paper centers on the work within The International Alliance of Women to win the hearts and minds of women of the East for the West, and its aspirations to become “truly international”, during the early post-war period (ca 1945 to 1965).