Scholars working on the history of European Commission actions on gender equality have a new resource: digitised audio-visual materials from the fonds of Fausta Deshormes La Valle (FDLV). Audio-visual archivists working at the HAEU have recently uploaded and described these items in the Archives’ multimedia platform, just in time to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March.
The FDLV fonds provide an interesting window on early efforts to promote gender equality across Europe through European institutions.
The newly digitised items comprise VHS videos and printed photographs that date mainly from 1970 to 1990. The materials provide insights both into Fausta Deshormes La Valle’s political activity, as well the initiatives launched by the European Commission’s Women's Press and Information Service, which she directed from its inception in 1976, until 1992.
Among the videos is Women and Power. Towards an International Network, as well as videos from information and promotional campaigns on gender equality produced by the European Commission, such as The Glass Ceiling Breakers and Europe - Un vantaggio per le donne.
In addition to illustrating efforts to promote gender equality, some materials also shed light on the women working in European politics at a high level. The video The Association of Women of Southern Europe, for example, documents two conferences dedicated to women’s access to decision-making in southern Europe, and includes prominent individuals such as Jacqueline Nonon, Marcelle Devaud, Wassyla Tamzali, Éliane Vogel-Polsky, and others.
Users may also visualise more than 100 photographs from the FDLV fonds. These images range from depictions of Fausta Deshormes La Valle going about her everyday duties, to important events planned by the Women’s Information Office, such as the Prix Niki and the Femmes d’Europe/Women of Europe Prize.
News photo: Exhibition booth with Fausta Deshormes La Valle (at right) and unidentified staff members, Brussels, c. 2000, Author unknown. HAEU/FDLV-70-I.100