Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements book series (PSHSM)


In the early 1900s Italy was a battlefield of diverse intellectual, cultural and political forces, with different ideologies competing for hegemony. This was the context in which the Catholic Church, for the first time in its history, appealed directly to women for help in defending Catholic values in society. As a result, various Catholic women’s associations came into being, with the aim of assisting the Church in its mission by disseminating religious propaganda and alleviating serious social problems. By this time, Italy had already experienced the emergence of the first secular feminist movements, which had their origins in the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the intellectual currents of the nineteenth century and socialist doctrine. Two important national feminist organizations, the Federazione romana and the Milan-based Unione femminile, had come into existence in 1899, with the objective of pursuing philanthropic and women’s rights issues.1


Woman Leader Catholic Woman Fascist Regime Socialist Doctrine Woman Question 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Helena Dawes 2014

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