This dissertation aims to excavate the ways in which the interwar era women activists interacted with and influenced the League of Nations with the intention of advancing the "woman question" on the transnational agenda. My findings show that women activists succeeded in integrating the "woman question" into the League system, by strategizing their mutually-completing feminist convictions on egalitarianism, protectionism and expertism, resulting in expanding women's space in the transnational arena. Women also broadened the notion of the "woman question" that they considered as being women's concerns and interests, and also the areas in which they believed women had expertise. Rather than limited to the issues that would directly change women's situations, such as sex-trafficking, equal rights in suffrage, work and marriage, and protective labor legislation, the "woman question" became the League's "social questions" that was inclusive of various social and political issues, such as public health, protection of children, minorities in mandates, education of young people, information sharing, and censorship of obscene publications.
By analyzing women activists' efforts, strategies, and their resultant success in contributing both to the formation and the operation of the League, this dissertation discloses two important aspects of the interwar era transnational women's movements: they marked the "institutional turn" in transnational women's movements onward, by working closely with the newly created first general inter-state institution; and they contributed to shaping what constitutes "international polities" by institutionalizing the League. The mutual institutionalization between the women's movements and the League shaped international norms of gender, social justice, and ultimately modern international politics.
The interwar era women's transnational movements have been relatively under-researched in recent scholarship. Therefore this dissertation contributes to the field by historicizing the women's transnational movements as active participants in constituting the inter-state institution. My work is interdisciplinary that is grounded primarily on the disciplines of women's studies, international relations, and history. By taking the perspective of women activists who worked with(in) the League, as governmental delegates, staff members, and experts, rather than taking those of the states' male elites who represented the interests of their own governments, this dissertation provides an understanding of the League, which is different from a nation-state-centered International Relations' understanding. In so doing, it also challenges the effectiveness of the framework of "waves," a commonly used term in periodizing women's movement history, which fails to capture many aspects of the interwar era women's transnational movements.