The Forgotten First Feminist Peace Treaty: The Continuing Relevance of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles for Addressing Discrimination Against Women

While the most recent peace treaty in Colombia has been heralded for its “gender” provisions, the world continues to “forget to implement” the first feminist peace treaty, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. (It provided for equal pay for women, a provision of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization within the Treaty). This “forgetfulness” includes the US, which ratified the Versailles “gender” provisions via the 1921 Peace Agreement with Germany, yet even in its post-WWII Occupation of Germany continued to violate the continuing obligations of the Versailles Treaty by adopting Nazi era laws that forced women to accept 25% less remuneration than men for the same job. Now, in 2021, 100 years later, the US has the opportunity to lead by example by fulfilling the “gender” obligations of its peace treaties, and with that, influence Colombia to implement its peace treaty mandated “gender” obligations.