Houston Women’s Conference

The International Women’s Year Conference, Houston Collection 1973-1982, includes reports, and newsletters regarding events in honor of International Women’s Year in multiple states, with more detailed information regarding the Los Angeles, CA conference. There is material on the process of delegate selection and the process of planning for the International Women’s Year Conference in Houston, 1977. In addition there are reports, schedules, and information from the Houston Conference. All material was gathered by California delegate Linda Myers and specifically contains content about her experience. The Houston Women’s Conference Collection is housed in the IFC Library, Vita Nova 106, Scripps College.

Administrative History:

The National Women’s Conference, held in Houston, TX, from 18-21 November 1977, was sponsored by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year, a group appointed by President Carter. The commission was formed in response to the United Nations’ call for an International Women’s Year in 1975. The Houston conference was preceded by meetings held in every state and territory at which delegates were elected and platform issues were discussed. At the conference the two thousand delegates adopted a twenty-six point National Plan of Action which included resolutions on three issues causing extensive debate: reproductive freedom, sexual preference, and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. A proposal to create a Cabinet-level department of women’s affairs was rejected, and the conference was united in its support of a more strongly-worded substitute resolution on minority women. Proceedings of the conference were recorded in the official report, The Spirit of Houston. Caroline Bird, who served as historian and chief consultant and compiler for the official report of The National Women’s Conference, published her version of the Houston report as What Women Want (Simon and Schuster, 1979).