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Reconfiguration of Catholic women’s league militancy in France and in Italy (1919-1939)

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Revisiting women’s militancy in the Interwar period

New research has shed light on the participation of French and Italian women in changes to the political landscape during the period between the two World Wars.

Climate Change and Environment

The 'Reconfiguration of Catholic women's league militancy in France and in Italy (1919-1939)' (Genderfascism) project considered the reconfiguration of militancy for French and Italian Catholic women during the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, the comparative project focused on Catholic women in the two countries during the Interwar period, from 1920 to 1939. On the strength of earlier research, this project continued to follow the political trajectories of various kinds of militants and reflect more deeply on processes of politicisation in French (1902–33) and Italian (1902–19) politics. The aim was to broaden the scope taking into account and comparing centre and centre-left feminists as well as right-wing women. Emphasis was placed on major political changes at a time (the Interwar period) when fascist and extreme right-wing interests posed crucial challenges to democratic politics. Study of archival material from the pontifical archives of the Vatican helped shine new light on this critical period in European and global history. Data collection enabled a reconsideration of the role played by the Church as well as by Catholic women in public policies and agenda setting. In addition, research activities offered a broader understanding of women's agency within the leagues, and the transnational nature of their activism. Participation at seminars and conferences prompted discussions with various experts in the field, making it possible to better understand relationships between Catholic organisations and the Croix de Feu. Contributing to the organisation of an international conference, 'Women's international activism', also served to further the attainment of project objectives and granted further insights into militancy and activism during the first half of the century. Other project achievements include progress towards publication of a book, 'La Citoyenneté avant le vote'.

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