"Worthy wives and mothers:" State-sponsored women's organizing in postrevolutionary Mexico
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During the mid-1930s, as the postrevolutionary Mexican government embarked on its modernization project, women mobilized for rights ranging from suffrage to religious freedom. In an effort to control and direct women's organizing energies, the regime established a network of official women's leagues, which policymakers hoped would attract women away from both left- and right-wing movements. Although these leagues sought to circumscribe women's activism, they also created an organizing infrastructure that women instrumentalized. This article examines women's leagues as both an explicitly gendered instance of state formation and a historical case study in women's organizing. © 2002 Journal of Women's History.
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Professor of History
Jocelyn Olcott is Professor of History; International Comparative Studies; and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. Her second book, International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History considers the history and legacies of the United Nation’s first world conference on women in 1975 in Mexico City (Ox