This article explores some of the ways in which, in the early years of the united Pakistan experiment, elite educated Muslim East Bengali women experienced and narrated their relationship to the new Pakistan nation as they navigated the international stage as citizens of a new sovereign Muslim-majority state. In the context of the nascent Cold War and the Pakistani state’s efforts to develop its own relationship with the United States, one that was distinct from that of India and yet motivated almost entirely by concerns about the greater military might of this large neighbor, Pakistani women from both wings were quickly pulled into the orbit of US- and Soviet-sponsored women’s organizations targeting women around the world. In this article, the author focuses on the relationship between Pakistani and US women in the 1950s that emerges from the memoirs, biographies, and writings of Bengali Pakistani women active in this period, as well as from the archives—housed in Smith College’s Sophia Smith Collection—of one of the first formal US women’s groups to establish contact with East Bengali women leaders: the New York-based Committee of Correspondence.

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