By Rebecca Romanchuk, Archivist
Mary Murphy is a Master of Arts in history candidate at Texas State University, specializing in women, gender, and sexuality. She recently completed an internship at the Texas State Archives to arrange and describe records of the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee. These records document a crucial period in the women’s rights movement in the late 1970s as the push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment gathered strength and then failed to achieve its goal.
Romanchuk: Mary, tell us why you were interested in working with the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records at the State Archives.
Murphy: My interest in women’s studies and desire to work with an assorted set of records and media was a good match for this collection. It was also an opportunity to learn about a subject I had surprisingly never come across in my formal education.
Romanchuk: What was International Women’s Year and how was this committee involved with it?
Murphy: The United Nations declared 1975 as International Women’s Year to draw attention to efforts by women around the world to achieve equal status as a human rights issue. The first international conference to discuss women’s status in the world occurred in Mexico City from June 19 to July 2, 1975.