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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 987

Papers of Mala Htun, 1956-2003 (inclusive), 1991-2000 (bulk)


Htun's research files on gender and equality in Latin America.


  • 1956-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1991-2000

Language of Materials

Materials in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mala Htun as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3.34 linear feet (8 file boxes)

This collection consists of materials related to Mala Htun's research and advocacy in Latin America, mostly in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, but also in Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Panama. The topics covered in this collection include divorce, abortion, women's participation in the political sphere, and the efforts of nonprofit groups and intergovernmental organizations to promote women's rights.

Series I, INTERVIEWS AND RESEARCH, 1965-2001 (inclusive), 1991-1998 (bulk) (#1.1-5.1), contains handwritten and typewritten notes from Htun's interviews with Latin American politicians, clergymen, lawyers, and judges, primarily on the subject of divorce and abortion. There are also notes from Htun's archival research, as well as clippings, reports, travel itineraries, and correspondence. The majority of these materials are in Spanish or Portuguese. The materials in this series are arranged alphabetically.

Series II, CONFERENCES AND CAMPAIGNS, 1993-2002 (#5.2-6.5), includes agendas, publications, and drafts from international conferences that Htun attended and helped organize, namely the Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas (WLCA), the Inter-American Dialogue, and the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing. In addition, there are pamphlets, flyers, directories and other materials related to women who ran for and held public office in Latin American countries, particularly Brazil. Most of these items are in Spanish or Portuguese. The materials in this series are arranged alphabetically.

Series III, ORGANIZATIONS, 1989-2003 (inclusive), 1993-2000 (bulk) (#6.6-8.19), features reports, directories, pamphlets, agendas, and correspondence related to national and international organizations which Htun served. These organizations included the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations. Of particular note are the materials from different Latin American countries' participation in the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing. Most of these materials are in Spanish or Portuguese. The materials in this series are arranged alphabetically.


Mala Nani Htun was born in 1969 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Ko Moe Htun and Helen Muller. Educated at Stanford University (A.B. 1991) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 2000), Mala Htun has served as a professor of political science at the University of New Mexico and at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Htun's scholarship spans 71 countries and focuses on the initiatives and responses that states take with regard to gender, race, and ethnicity. She is the author of Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies (2003), and The Logics of Gender Justice: State Action on Women's Rights around the World (2018). She has won the Best Book in Human Rights Award, and has received fellowships from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame, and the Radcliffe Institute. In 2006, Htun married Douglas William Turner, the founder of the management firm DW Turner; they have one child.


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Interviews and research, 1956-2001 (inclusive), 1991-1998 (bulk) (#1.1-5.1)
  2. Series II. Conferences and campaigns, 1993-2002 (#5.2-6.5)
  3. Series III. Organizations, 1989-2003 (inclusive), 1993-2000 (bulk) (#6.6-8.19)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2009-M89, 2017-M19

The papers of Mala Htun were given to the Schlesinger Library by Mala Htun in 2009, and transferred from Widener Library in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed: March 2019

By: Ayoola White, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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