University of Pittsburgh




The Sociology Department Presents a Power Workshop on:

Does the Global North Still Dominate Women's International Organizing? A Network Analysis from 1978 to 2008

Melanie M. Hughes

Pamela Paxton

Sharon Quinsaat

Nicholas Reith

Over the last century, women increasingly transcended national boundaries to exchange information, build solidarity, and bring change. Common accounts suggest that as women's international presence expanded, the types of women who participated also began to shift. During the first wave of women's movements, White western women dominated, but over time women of the Global South increasingly organized themselves at the international level, and regional organizations proliferated. Despite these accounts, we do not know the extent to which North-South inequalities in women's organizing have diminished. To investigate the structure of women's international organizing, we collect longitudinal network data on 447 women's international nongovernmental organizations (WINGOs) founded since 1875. We analyze the data with a combination of visual tools and network measures to explore changes in the overall network structure of women's international organizations from 1978 to 2008.  Further, we investigate power differences across countries in the Global North and South within the global WINGO network across time. Results suggest that (1) increasing numbers of WINGOs are not creating a denser network where all countries are more tied together, (2) the extent of the North / South split in the network does not change over time, (3) significant power differences between the North and South persist over time, and (4) significant inequality within the Global South also exists.

Presented by: Dr. Melanie Hughes (Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology)

Wednesday October 8, 2014 | 2:00

Sociology Conference Room | 2431 WW Posvar Hall

*This is a works-in-progress talk and does require participates to read. Please e-mail me at if you would like a copy of the paper.