Clio Talks Back

I.M.O.W.'s debut blog, Clio Talks Back, will change the way you think about women throughout history! Be informed and transformed by Clio Talks Back, written by the museum's resident historian Karen Offen.

Inspired by Clio, the Greek muse of History, and the museum's global online exhibitions Economica and Women, Power and Politics, Karen takes readers on a journey through time and place where women have shaped and changed our world. You will build your repertoire of rare trivia and conversation starters and occasionally hear from guest bloggers including everyone from leading historians in the field to the historical women themselves.

Read the entries, post a comment, and be inspired to create your own legacies to transform our world.


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Clio Talks about the United Nations’ Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 1952

Are you familiar with the United Nations Convention on the Political Rights of Women?

Clio would guess that only a small percentage of today's young women are even aware of its existence. And yet it has provided an important stimulus to change in the electoral practices of nations.

Here is what it says:

The Contracting Parties,
Desiring to implement the principle of equality of rights for men and women contained in the Charter of the United Nations,
Recognizing that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or indirectly through freely chosen representatives, and has the right to equal access to public service in his country, and desiring to equalize the status of men and women in the enjoyment and exercise of political rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Having resolved to conclude a Convention for this purpose,
Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:

Article I – Women shall be entitled to vote in all elections on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.
Article II – Women shall be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies, established by national law, on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.
Article III – Women shall be entitled to hold public office and to exercise all public functions, established by national law, on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.
. . .
[Articles IV through X deal with procedures. Article XI stipulates that “Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish texts ahll be equally authentic” and “shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations” and transmitted by certified copy to all members of the United Nations and to non-member state. Signing began on 31 March, 1953.]

Can you guess how many countries in today's world do not honor or have not signed this U.N. Convention?


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