Italian Women and International Cold War Politics, 1944-1968
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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The women of the left- leaning Unione Donne Italiane (UDI) and the lay Catholic Centro Italiano Femminile (CIF) have long fi lled my thoughts and many pages of my writing over the past decade.1 It was not until I was putting the finishing touches on an article, however, that I was...
1 Daughters of the Resistance,1943– 1946
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In September 1944, tired from the destructiveness of years of fascism and war but energized by their commitment to Italy’s liberation and optimistic about the future, a group of women gathered in Rome to form the Unione Donne Italiane (UDI). Their statement said in part...
2 Cold War House wives? 1947– 1949
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In July 1949, the women’s section of the Italian Communist Party sent a report to the party’s central committee concerning the key problems it faced in expanding the communists’ appeal among Italian women. In its report, the women’s section listed “incomprehension and weakness...
3 Mothers for Peace, 1950– 1955
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In July 1955, the World Congress of Mothers gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland. Clotilde Cassigoli, a Florentine house wife and Catholic Action member, delivered an emotional speech imploring women around the world to put aside their differences and cooperate as mothers...
4 The Push for Autonomy and Women’s Rights, 1956– 1959
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In March 1956, Maria Maddalena Rossi, president of the UDI, sent a letter to Amalia di Valmarana, the president of the CIF, inviting her to the Fifth Congress of the Italian Woman, to be held in Rome in April. Rossi highlighted the UDI’s distribution of a questionnaire...
5 Opening to the Center, 1960– 1963
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In the April 1963 issue of Cronache e Opinioni, Amalia di Valmarana asked CIF members to contribute to the World Movement of Mothers to help sustain the organization, which at that time was facing a financial crisis. In her plea to the Cronache’s readers...
6 Confronting the Youth Generation,1964– 1968
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The end-of-the-year issues of the CIF’s monthly magazine, Cronache e Opinioni, and the UDI’s weekly, Noi Donne, poignantly encapsulate the turmoil and violence that characterized 1968: the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy; the repression of dissidents...
Conclusion: The Results of Women’s Cold War Political Activism
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All four of the main women’s organizations discussed in this book are still active today– the Unione Donne Italiane, the Centro Italiano Femminile, the World Movement of Mothers, and the Women’s International Democratic Federation. Each continues to be active...
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Selected Bibliography of Secondary Sources
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013