Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Professor Amy Alemu
Professor Gabriela Bacsán
© 2022 Jeannette V Hunker
Doris Stevens (1888-1963) was a U.S. feminist, suffragist, and member of the National Women’s Party. After the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920, Stevens, among other U.S. feminists, involved herself in Latin American politics, working to pass women’s suffrage legislation in multiple countries. Stevens was chair of the Inter-American Commission of Women (IACW) from 1928 to 1939. Eventually, a number of Latin American feminists, as well as members of the Roosevelt administration, sought to remove her from the IACW when her political tendencies posed a threat to both. Accused of being a “fascist,” Stevens was voted out of the organization at the 1938 Pan-American Conference in Lima, Peru.
One of the organizations affiliated with the IACW was the Unión Argentina de Mujeres (UAM), formed in 1936 in response to a proposed change to the 1926 Civil Code which would have reduced married women’s status to that of minors. Starting in 1936, Stevens worked with members of the UAM, including Ana Rosa Schlieper de Martínez Guerrero and Susana Larguía. This essay focuses on the correspondences between Stevens and Larguía to explain their initial incentives in working together and the eventual opposition Larguía and Schlieper had towards Stevens. The essay argues that that Stevens and UAM leaders initially collaborated because of their shared interest in international women’s civil and political rights with men; however, Stevens’s lack of an anti-fascist commitment eventually isolated her from Unión members, and from the Inter-American Commission of Women.
Hunker, Jeannette, "Doris Stevens: A "Fascist" Feminist? Stevens, the Inter-American Commission of Women, and the Unión Argentina de Mujeres, 1936-1939" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2190.