The Impact of Collectivisation on Yugoslav Gender Relations
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This chapter argues that leading communist women saw collectivisation as a chance to change gender relations in the countryside, investing a lot of efforts in changing cultural norms and habits. Despite tremendous, but paternalistic efforts, gender relations remained largely intact. Women’s work was undervalued, and they remained excluded from any power-sharing in the collective farms. Instead of creating a socialist utopia in which peasant women had equal rights and collective services helped mothers, collectivisation caused turmoil and resistance. The Party abandoned collectivisation for economic and social reasons, but they also gave up on aggressive methods of changing social relations in the Yugoslav countryside. High hopes based on the imagined Soviet model failed to materialise once again.