Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945

Perry Willson

in The Oxford Handbook of Fascism

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594788
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743689 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945

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There is by now a fairly ample historiography on the role of women in fascist Italy. It is, however, still somewhat uneven. This article looks at some of these topics, such as the demographic campaign, the mobilization of women into the Fascist Party, and women's experience during the Second World War. The recent wave of interest in some of the more neglected topics is very positive, since a due attention to gender can shed much light on the fascist experience in Italy. The fascist regime paid a good deal of attention to gender and the role of women in its ideology, propaganda, and legislation. The roots of much of this can be traced to the Italian experience in the First World War. The fascists' pervasive emphasis on militaristic values owed a great deal to wounded masculine (as well as national) pride after the rout of the Italian troops at Caporetto.

Keywords: women's employment; political mobilization; Second World War; gender issues; fascist Italy; First World War; military values

Article.  8353 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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