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Michele Alexander collection on the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women

Identifier: NA-0024-01


The Michele Alexander collection on the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women (ITCW) consists of reports, ephemera, clippings, photographs, and correspondence documenting this event, held in Brussels, March 4-8, 1976. The ITCW consisted of personal testimony, the presentation of reports by various national committees, and workshops on problems and potential solutions, discrimination against women worldwide, and gender-based violence.


  • 1972-1976



0.5 Cubic Feet (1 box and 1 legal-sized folder)

Content Description

This collection consists of reports, ephemera, clippings, photographs, and correspondence compiled by Dr. Michele Hindi-Alexander relating to the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women (ITCW). The ITCW was a “people’s tribunal" held in Brussels from March 4-8, 1976, inspired by Bertrand Russell's International War Crimes Tribunal on crimes committed in the Vietnam War. The ITCW consisted of personal testimony and the presentation of reports compiled by various national committees, as well as workshops on the analysis of problems and potential solutions, on the subject of the sexual, reproductive and medical, familial and legal, and economic and political discrimination, against women worldwide. Hindi-Alexander, who was in Brussels working on her doctoral dissertation on epidemiology, joined the Tribunal through her participation in Women Overseas for Equality (WOE), a feminist group of English-speaking women in Belgium. She had an administrative role in running the Tribunal, working as part of the reception team and assisting with translation and public relations. The tribunal was held in English, French and Spanish. The collection is composed of documents relating to the planning of the ITCW, including programs from the event, correspondence, pamphlets and newsletters on the event, and letters and postcards to Hindi-Alexander. It also contains reports, papers, speeches, resolutions and proposals discussed at the conference, and press releases and press clippings detailing the coverage of the event. There are also some photocopies of subject-relevant news items, mostly relating to abortion. Also included are several photographs of the tribunal.

Language of Materials

The bulk of the materials are in English and French.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:


Dr. Michele Hindi-Alexander provided the following autobiographical statement to The New School Archives in September 2021. It has been edited lightly for length and style.

I’m a retired epidemiologist. I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, in a Coptic/French family. Married, moved to the States and had two children. In 1974, [I] moved to Brussels Belgium for my husband's job. While working on my dissertation at the University of Louvain la Neuve (and SUNY/Buffalo), I joined a group called 'Women Overseas for Equality-WOE' headed by Lydia Horton, an American living in Belgium. Shortly after, we heard of a group of women planning an 'International Tribunal of Crimes Against Women" (ITCAW), inspired by two other events, Femø, in Denmark, and a feminist conference in Frankfurt. At the time, there was a very early global cultural awakening recognizing women’s rights similar to #BLM [Black Lives Matter] and #Metoo [the Me Too movement] today and we were eager to collaborate and be part of the change.

We joined this group of originally eight women planning the two day-event. It eventually took two years of planning and expanded to a five day event (March 4-8, 1976), opening with a letter from Simone de Beauvoir, at the Palais des Congres in Brussels, Belgium. Over two thousand women from at least forty countries flew, drove, and hitchhiked to attend. The logistics, all analog (providing affordable housing, etc.) were mind-boggling, but all were resolved with amazing collaborations.

The event was a very powerful moment in our lives, and all who participated were changed forever by the shared experience, tragic stories, and depth of collaboration that helped shed light on the circumstances women were facing across the world. At the closing ceremony, Susan Heller Anderson of the International Herald Tribune called it 'the biggest international feminist event in history.'

I was part of the reception team during the event, did daily translations and press releases, and ultimately helped with the transcription and translation of the tapes (English, French, Spanish). I brought my daughter, Rhea Alexander, to the opening and closing ceremonies. At 10 years old, she became the youngest participant. She went on to work in design and social justice and graduated for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Parsons School of Design, where she is now a member of the fulltime faculty.

Personally, participating [in the Tribunal] fueled a lifelong conviction to support human rights and continuing to fight for women’s rights, supporting refugees, and the underserved both professionally and privately.


Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the New School Archives by Michele Hindi-Alexander, via her daughter Rhea Alexander, in October 2020.

Related Materials

The published and edited proceedings of the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women are available online through the Internet Archive:

Russell, Diana E. H. and Nicole Van de Ven, editors. Crimes against women: proceedings of the international tribunal. East Palo Alto, California: Frog in the Well, 1976.

Guide to the Michele Alexander collection on the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women
Jack Wells and New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
September 27, 2021
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