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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Inesse Armand

b. 1874, Paris; d. 1920, Saint Petersburg

The correct spelling of this name is INESSA ARMAND.

Inessa Armand led the pioneering effort for female equality and women’s rights within the Communist movement in Russia and beyond. In 1907, she was sentenced to prison in Siberia for distributing illegal propaganda; upon her release, she moved to Paris, where she met Vladmir Lenin and other Bolsheviks living in exile. In 1911, Armand was elected secretary of the Committee of Foreign Organizations, formed to coordinate all Bolshevik groups throughout Western Europe. Her political commitment to peace and women’s equality led her to Switzerland, where she established the antiwar International Conference of Socialist Women in 1915. After the October Revolution of 1917, Armand served as an executive member of the Moscow Soviet, and then as director of Zhenotdel, which fought for women’s equality within trade unions and the Communist Party. In 1920, she chaired the First International Conference of Communist Women. She died of cholera shortly after.