Armed with a Yellow Mimosa: Women’s Defence and Assistance Groups in Italy, 1943-45

Citation:

Alano, Jomarie. 2003. “Armed with a Yellow Mimosa: Women’s Defence and Assistance Groups in Italy, 1943-45.” Journal of Contemporary History 38 (4): 615-31.

Author: Jomarie Alano

Abstract:

During the Italian Resistance of 1943-45, over 70,000 Italian women participated in Women's Defence and Assistance Groups, begun by women activists in Milan in November 1943. While they aided the partisans and assisted families in need, these women also planned a role for women in postwar Italian society. Based on oral and written information from Group leaders Ada Gobetti, Bianca Guidetti Serra and Frida Malan, unpublished sources from archives in Italy and in the USA, and articles from clandestine women's newspapers printed during the Resistance, this article argues that the Women's Defence and Assistance Groups had a significant impact on individual and collective women's consciousness and their perceptions of gender, and set the stage for postwar advances regarding women.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Italy

Year: 2003

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