Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | INVISIHIST event

The UN Commission on the Status of Women CSW: Over 75 years of making women’s rights human rights

Thursday 25 April 2024
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1-4
2311 BZ Leiden
4, 0.08A

About the event

CSW was initially a separatist strategy by women at the founding of the UN who recognized that experts on human rights were not necessarily experts on women’s rights. At its founding, CSW comprised of women delegates from diverse religious, cultural and ideological backgrounds creating an international sisterhood against gender discrimination transgressing national delegations from different continents to make women’s rights human rights. Acknowledging these historical women who laid the foundation for human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR alongside women who have continued similar efforts throughout the UN history, Leiden University invites Dr. Rebecca Adami, Associate Professor at Stockholm University to speak on some of the controversies of women’s rights at the founding of the United Nations that are still being lobbied by women today. Archival photos of the founding female figures of the UN will be on display thanks to UN Photo and the UN Communications Office. 

About the speaker

Rebecca Adami is Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Stockholm University and Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London. Co-editor of Women and the UN: A new history of women’s international human rights (2022) author of Women and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2019). She specializes in critical human rights theory through counternarratives, and studies on intersectionality. Recipient of the Bertha Lutz Award 2022 for highest quality public writing and research on women in diplomacy.


This event is organised by the Invisible History of the United Nations and the Global South (INVISIHIST) research project under the leadership of Dr Alanna O’Malley, Associate Professor at Leiden University’s Institute for History. INVISIHIST looks to reveal and unravel the invisible histories of the UN, transcending the dominant Western perspective to recover the historical agency of Global South actors. The research will investigate how the UN has both facilitated and limited their role in shaping global order from 1945-1981. The project is funded by the European Research Council and is available to listen to on the Global Orders podcast

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