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From World War I through the 1960s, U.S. women’s organizations regularly trekked to Capitol Hill to influence Congressional foreign policy debates. Yet by the 1990s, these groups had largely disengaged from international affairs. Why? Using an original dataset of women’s group appearances before Congress from 1916-2000, this study documents and explains this puzzling development by exploring the mutually reinforcing linkages among women’s identity, claims to issue ownership, and interest group evolution. In the case at hand, the advent of citizen and economic groups competing with women’s organizations for ownership of foreign policy questions, coupled with the declining legitimacy of gender “difference” arguments and the resurgence of “sameness” arguments, led women’s groups to focus on the dimensions of foreign policy particularly affecting women’s rights and status and to abandon less explicitly gendered foreign policy issues entirely. As multipurpose women’s associations declined in vitality, and feminist groups fueled by newly available philanthropic dollars staked claim to women’s rights-and-status questions, organized womanhood surrendered much of the foreign-policy issue space over which women had long claimed political authority, and women’s groups’ presence on Capitol Hill waned.