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We Can Do It! Women’s labour market participation in the maritime sector in the Upper Adriatic after the two World Wars in an intersectional perspective

Project description

A gendered perspective of post-war labour

What was the role of women in the maritime sector’s labour market in post-war transitions, after World War I (1918-1925) and following World War II (1945-1950)? The EU-funded WeCanIt project will answer this question. It will focus on the Upper Adriatic area, on five localities: Trieste (Italy); Koper, Piran and Izola (Slovenia); and Rijeka (Croatia). By quantitatively and qualitatively describing women’s labour market participation, the project will go beyond the traditional historiographical approach. Based on an intersectional approach, the project will estimate women’s maritime labour market participation. Three case studies will be used to determine the factors that influenced their participation.


The WeCanIt project’s is to think afresh women’s labor market participation in the maritime sector in 20th century post-war transitions – WWI (1918-1925) and WWII (1945-1950) – in the Upper Adriatic area in an intersectional perspective. The research will focus the situation of five localities: Trieste (Italy); Koper, Piran and Izola (Slovenia); Rijeka (Croatia). The primary objective of the research is to estimate quantitatively and qualitatively women’s labour market participation in the maritime industry in order to go beyond the traditional historiographical approach on the region which has neglected some aspects (the interrelation among e.g. gender, social class, nationality) focusing – almost exclusively – on the consequences of the balance of power among States on the peoples of the area. The proposal is structured in three research objectives: 1) quantitatively estimating the scope of the maritime industry in order to identify all major actors involved; 2) quantitatively estimating women’s maritime labour market participation according to the intersectional approach in a longitudinal perspective; 3) identifying – through case studies – the factors that influenced women’s maritime labour market participation, in order to understand the point of view of women. As for the approach, intersectionality has never been applied to the Upper Adriatic area, a strongly characterized region for its multiethnic/linguistic dimension, mobility, different state structures, political violence and a significant access to labor and services markets by female population. The approach moves across disciplines, national boundaries and genders. The proposal represents a significant “unhooking” from the conventional – and conservative – perspective of research on the Upper Adriatic during the 20th century for the choice of the subject (maritime history), the approach (intersectionality), and the research object (women’s labour market participation).


Net EU contribution
€ 150 040,32
Kongresni trg 12
1000 Ljubljana

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Slovenija Zahodna Slovenija Osrednjeslovenska
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00