The International Labour Organisation

  • Sandra Whitworth
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series


This chapter will examine gender in international relations through the example of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).1 As in the previous chapter, we are interested here in the ideas, material conditions, and the role of the ILO itself in reflecting and shaping understandings of gender throughout its history. The ILO is an older organisation than the IPPF, established with the League of Nations in 1919. It began with forty-two members and presently has one hundred and sixty. Additionally, it is an international governmental organisation (IGO), unlike the IPPF which is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO). The ILO’s substantive concerns also are very different from those of the IPPF. While the IPPF is functionally concerned with family planning and population control, an issue which is of obvious importance to women and men, the ILO’s focus on labour seems less directly an issue which involves gendered understandings and practices. Yet, from its beginnings, the ILO has developed policies which quite explicitly recognise certain assumptions about the appropriate role of women and men in the family, labour force and society more generally.


International Relation International Labour Organisation Woman Worker Protective Legislation Night Work 
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Copyright information

© Sandra Whitworth 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Whitworth
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityCanada

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