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This article situates Australian Elizabeth Reid’s contribution to International Women’s Year (IWY) (1975) within ongoing historiographical discussions on development and human rights. The world’s first advisor on women’s affairs to a head of government, Reid used the burgeoning Women’s Liberation Movement’s critique of ‘sexism’ to challenge IWY’s goals of formal equality, a limited and undesirable outcomes that prevented women and men from instead becoming ‘more human’. These ideas were then used to challenge the dominance of economic development over individual and collective rights at the 1975 Mexico City conference, placing Reid as a participant in the 1970s human rights ‘breakthrough’.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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