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Boston Women's Union records

Identifier: M145


The Boston Area Socialist Feminist Organization was founded in 1973 to fill a perceived need for an autonomous, socialist, feminist, nonsectarian political group. In 1975, the name of the organization was changed to the Boston Women's Union. The goals of the organization were to facilitate communication and coordination among existing women's groups, establish a visible socialist feminist political presence in Boston, and educate others about socialist feminism. The organization held study groups, hosted a conference, and participated in political demonstrations. Focus groups were formed to address issues such as welfare, reproductive rights, and economic and racial inequalities. While the groups were intended to engage particular political interests of Union members, the focus groups ultimately proved to be divisive. In 1975, the Boston Women's Union had from 80 to 100 active members, but by May 1976, the Union disbanded due to political discord within the group. Though the Boston Women's Union no longer existed, several former members continued to hold frequent meetings and discussion groups. One outcome of these meetings was the formation of RESIST, a foundation that funds grassroots activism.


  • Creation: 1973-1981


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.


Boston Area Socialist Feminist Organization founded.
First conference held in Boston, attended by 150 women.
Organization changes its name to Boston Women's Union. Active membership is between 80-100 women.
Boston Women's Union disbands.
Several former members of the group continue to meet regularly to discuss socialist feminist issues.


.35 cubic feet (1 container)

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence by subject.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Received from The Women's Center (Cambridge, Mass.) in 2006.

Related materials:

Other materials regarding the socialist feminist movement in the Boston area can be found in the Sondra Gayle Stein papers (M093), and the Women's Educational Center (Cambridge, Mass.) records (M047)

Related Archival Materials:

The personal papers of Leslie Cagan, former Boston Women's Union member, can be found at The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.

Finding aid for the Boston Women's Union Records
Finding aid prepared by Cynthia Rufo
May 2008
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US