International Congress of Women

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The name International Congress of Women was used by a number of feminist and pacifist events since 1878.

Paris, 1878[edit]

The First International Congress of Women's Rights convened in Paris in 1878 upon the occasion of the third Paris World's Fair. Seven resolutions were passed, beginning with the idea that "the adult woman is the equal of the adult man".[1] A closing speech was given by Emily Venturi. The subject of women's suffrage was deliberately avoided at the Congress, as it was too controversial and not supported by all women. Hubertine Auclert wrote a speech calling for the right to vote for French women, but was not allowed to present it to the Congress. Instead, she published it later.[2]

London, June 26 - July 7, 1899[edit]

The International Congress of Women of 1899 was convened by the International Council of Women in conjunction with its 2nd Quinquennial Meeting.[3] The Congress was divided into 5 sections, with programming in each: Education, Professional, Political, Social, and Industrial and Legislative. The transactions of the Congress were edited by the then Countess of Aberdeen, who was president of the International Council of Women at the time of the congress, and published in a set along with the Report of Council Transactions from the International Congress of Women's 2nd Quinquennial meeting.[4][5]

Berlin, June 1904[edit]

Mary Church Terrell addressed the International Congress Of Women

Amsterdam, June 1908[edit]


Stockholm, 1911[edit]


The Hague, April–May 1915[edit]

This congress, also known as the Women's Peace Congress or just The Hague Congress[7] was part of the emergent women's peace movement. More than 1200 delegates from 12 countries discussed proposals to end the First World War through negotiation. Two participants, Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch, would later receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Other attenders included Lida Gustava Heymann, one of 28 delegates from Germany; Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Emily Hobhouse and Chrystal Macmillan from Great Britain; Rosika Schwimmer from Hungary; and Emilia Fogelklou.

The French government prevented the participation of a French delegation, and the planned 180-strong British delegation was severely reduced by the British government's suspension of the commercial ferry service between Folkestone and Flushing.[7][8]

This event marked the foundation of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Somewhat confusingly, it is sometimes referred to as the First International Congress of Women.

Zurich, May 1919[edit]


Vienna, July 1921[edit]

This congress ended with a short resolution entitled "Revision of peace treaties":

Believing that the Peace Treaties contain the seeds of new wars, this Congress declares that a revision of the Peace Terms is necessary, and resolves to make this object its principal task.[10]


  1. ^ "'Women in Every Country' – The First International Congress of Women's Rights. Paris, 1878". Teaching Women's Rights From Past to Present. Women In World History. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Offen, Karen M. (2000). European feminisms, 1700–1950: a political history. Stanford University Press. p. 152. ISBN 0-8047-3420-8. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Countess of Aberdeen (ed.), Women in Professions, being the professional section of the International Congress of Women of 1899 
  5. ^ Butlin, F.M. (1899), "International Congress of Women", Economic Journal (Blackwell Publishing) 9 (35): 450–455, doi:10.2307/2957075, JSTOR 2957075 
  6. ^ a b Chonkova, Genoveva; Sabeva, Emilia (June 2009). "The Contribution of Jeni Bojilova-Pateva to the International Activities of the Bulgarian Women's Movement" (PDF). Bourgas, Bulgaria: Territorial State Archive. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Apr 28, 1915: International Congress of Women opens at The Hague,
  8. ^ Addams, Jane (2003), Women at the Hague: The International Congress of Women and Its Results, ISBN 978-0-252-07156-0 
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]