British women and international social justice practices (first half of the 20th century)

Social justice for all?
By Olga Hidalgo-Weber

This paper looks at the ties between the political emancipation of British women, achieved in 1918 in the UK, and their careers in the international organisations created in 1919: the League of Nations and the International Labour Office (ILO). The relations between the UK and these organisations are examined to pick out the networks that fostered the careers of women internationally. Various examples illustrate how certain British women contributed to the internationalisation of social justice in the Interwar period, for the benefit of workers in their country and in the colonies. The reasons and the resources used by these women internationally highlight the use that they made of the ILO to continue the battles that were hampered on the domestic stage. Some of these women had expertise in social matters that the ILO’s officials were able to benefit from. Conversely, the ILO acted as an echo chamber for them and enabled them to observe what they drew from this investment.

Go to the article on