Women’s International Labor Organization: Transnational Networks, Working Conditions, and Gender Equality
With the passage of “Decent Work for Domestic Workers,” Convention #189 in June 2011, the International Labor Organization (ILO) re-emerged as a venue for wage earning women to demand economic justice. The planned collaborative volume Women’s ILO: Transnational Networks, Working Conditions, and Gender Equality, to become part of the ILO Century Series published by Palgrave, gives a history to the involvement of women in the ILO and the ways that gender entered into the construction of global labor standards. We ask, what role have women’s networks played inside and outside the ILO to improve working conditions for women and gender equality? How can we analyze the interaction between the national and the international level in the struggle to promote labor standards matching the needs of working women? What was the impact of ILO’s standards, technical cooperation programs and research, especially in non-selfgoverning territories and the (newly independent) states of the global South, in this regard? What impact did the Cold War have on ILO’s debate on working women? And finally, how has the ILO’s concern for domestic care and the informal economy broadened the concept of work?
Building upon a workshop held at the ILO in December 2012, we seek additional papers of around 7,000 words (including endnotes) preferably in English, but translation can be provided. We are particularly interested in articles based on research in or focusing on Asia, Latin America, and Africa, which consider rural workers, specific conventions or occupational groups, and offer new perspectives. Our focus is the entire century, 1919 to the Present. Broad topics include, but are not limited to:
*The role of women’s networks inside and outside the ILO and their impact on how women’s issues moved from the margin to the center of ILO’s activities. This topic includes the relation between the ILO and the activities of woman reformers and activists in national and international organizations (NGOs, trade unions, research communities, feminist associations etc.)
*The interaction between the national and the international level in the struggle to promote labor standards for women
*The transformation of the debate on women’s work and related agenda-setting inside and outside the ILO in terms of un/gendered labor standards and changing/broadening concepts of work
*The reconfiguration of the debates on women’s work in the context of ILO’s concern with “native” or “non-metropolitan” workers, the informal economy and the fight against poverty
Paper abstracts should designate the topic, present the interpretation, and describe sources. Please send abstracts (c.300 words) in English, French or Spanish with a short C.V. by May 1 to:
Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorothea Hoehtker, International Labour Organization (ILO), The ILO Century Project, Geneva, Switzerland: email@example.com
Susan Zimmerman, Professor of History, Department of Gender Studies – Department of History, Central European University: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notification will be by June 1. It is our intent to workshop the paper drafts at an appropriate conference venue either in Europe or the United States during Spring 2014.