Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2016

Publication Title

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society


The 1949 Conference of the Women of Asia held by the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) amplified a new anti-imperialist solidarity movement for women in the global South. Leftist feminists emerged from anticolonial movements to organize mass-based women’s groups, a process that created new alliances between regional women’s groups. In India, and across Asia, most groups concentrated their efforts on rural women embedded in the agricultural economy. This article looks at the forms of solidarity and the ideologies of anti-imperialist women’s activism that turned the charity model of Western feminist internationalism on its head. Before the celebrated Bandung Conference of 1955, Asian and African WIDF members emphasized a solidarity of commonalty as well as one of complicity in the international women’s movement to fight colonialism and neocolonialism in the new postwar order.





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