The globalization of women's status: Consensus/dissensus in the world polity

Nitza Berkovitch, Karen Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The amount of attention devoted to women and women's issues has increased dramatically in the last five decades throughout the world. In this article we examine the cultural construction of women that guided such action by analyzing texts that were produced and activities that were undertaken in relation to women by international organizations from 1945 through 1995. We show that the modernist principles of universalism, liberal individualism, and rationality provided the cultural framework for this global project. We compare the ways in which two issues important to women, education and genital mutilation, were constructed by global actors and the implications of this meaning making for action over time. Our analysis reveals an important link between the extent to which an issue is constructed to be consistent with the modernist principles and the extent to which it receives global attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-498
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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