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Europe's Other Half: Women in the 20th Century


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:59 AM

It was agreed that our first content topic should be on Women in the 20th Century. I am willing to do two of these (UK and Italy). Hopefully other members will have a go at a couple. I will post my one on the UK later this week. My intention is to divide the topic into time periods and try to explain the methods used by the campaigners and the reasons why women were eventually given the vote. If we all do the same, it will enable students to compare both methods used and the reasons why women got the vote.

#2 Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 12:15 PM

I'm willing to work on two countries as well - Sweden and Finland. I will later try to summarize the different aspects I will cover. This will include several different aspects hopefully in cooperation with the Gender Studies Department at University of Gothenburg.

#3 Dalibor Svoboda

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 03:25 PM

I’m thinking about working primarily with women from former Habsburg monarchy, Czechoslovakia, Czech Reich protectorate and Czech Republic.

I do not think that I would like to concentrate myself only on the topic of women’s rights. Many of the women I would like to write about fought rather for national independence and later on for national freedom than for suffrage.

I would like to give a kind of my personal approach to why I choose to highlight them ……

We didn’t specified at all content of our subject: “Europe’s other half: women in 20th century” therefore I think that we do have at least at the start of the project (this is a day one!!! The topic had been chosen yesterday) to have a freedom of personal solutions about how to cope with the task. Even if it means that there will be slimmer possibilities for comparisions.

I can also take care of women from Russia provided I can cope with this huge task …….

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda, 21 February 2005 - 04:59 PM.


#4 John Simkin

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:25 PM

I have tried looking on the web for information on Women’s Suffrage in Europe. I came across this but it is not clear where the material is.

http://www.gla.ac.uk...re/suffrage.htm

No book has been published James McMillan on this. Although there was a CD-ROM published in 1998.

Does anyone know of a website that provides a summary of how each country won the vote?

I went to Sussex University library this morning. Once again I was unable to find a book that covered Europe. Plenty of books on the UK and the USA. Books about how the vote was won in France and New Zealand. But nothing on Europe. I suppose this shows there is a great need for such a resource.

One thing I found out was that between 1913 and 1920 a group of women published a monthly journal called International Woman’s Suffrage News. The university has a copy of each one published. It is a great source but will take a long time to access the information that I want.

#5 John Simkin

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:35 PM

Members will find the following useful:

http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/suffrage.htm

http://teacher.schol...age/history.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage

http://womenshistory...y/aa091600a.htm

#6 alf wilkinson

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 08:35 PM

Could it be useful to think in terms of an oral history input too?
How women's lives have changed?
Also, not just the vote, but topics like the 60s, when women's lib really started, with the pill, etc, etc?
And equal rights legislation - the 'glass ceiling' - limiting women's progress in business?
There is much more to the changing status and role of women than the vote. Some would argue that getting the vote changed nothing......

Edited by alf wilkinson, 22 February 2005 - 08:35 PM.


#7 Juan Carlos

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:32 PM

I went to Sussex University library this morning. Once again I was unable to find a book that covered Europe. Plenty of books on the UK and the USA. Books about how the vote was won in France and New Zealand. But nothing on Europe. I suppose this shows there is a great need for such a resource.


Bonnie S. Anderson & Judith P. Zinsser
A history of their own. Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present: vol II
1991, Harper and Row, Publishers, New York

Histoire de Femmes en Occident
Edited by Georges Duby and Michelle Perrot
(It has been surely translated into English)

I have got the Spanish version of both books and, although not in thorough way, they deal with European women history.

It was agreed that our first content topic should be on Women in the 20th Century. I am willing to do two of these (UK and Italy). Hopefully other members will have a go at a couple.


I thought about elaborating a general overview on Europe and then focus on Spain. I intended to work onWestern Mediterranean Europe (Italy, France, Portugal) as well. It will depend on the material I find.

Also, not just the vote, but topics like the 60s, when women's lib really started, with the pill, etc, etc?
And equal rights legislation - the 'glass ceiling' - limiting women's progress in business?


Spanish and Portuguese, with conditions or restrictions, women won the franchise in 1931, French and Italian in 1945. I will want to study women's condition under fascist regimes and the evolution from the 60s on.

#8 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 04:37 PM

Histoire de Femmes en Occident
Edited by Georges Duby and Michelle Perrot
(It has been surely translated into English)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Posted Image

http://www.amazon.co...5405994-6979837

The synopsis suggests this is right up our street:

Has the worst of times for humanity - this century bloodied by wars and revolutions without precedent in history - been the best of times for women? How have the promises of freedom, parity with men, full participation in society, actually been met amid all the transformations and upheavals the 20th century has witnessed? This 5th volume in the series brings the history of women up to the present, placing it in the context of momentous events and profound social changes that have marked our time.

I'd also like to support Alf's point about the need for broadening this topic out. Much of what we need is as likely to be in sociology and politics texts as in historical works.

A country by country approach to how women got the vote is international history (and important to our study) but what I am thinking of is perhaps more transnational than international. As we know, political history tends to the national (and international), economic, social and cultural themes are less likely to be bound by national context.

In the context of recent debate in England about making students learn landmark dates, I remembered Raphael Samuel's point about the Married Women's Property Act of the 1880s. Surely this ecomomic landmark was important as the passing of the Third Reform Act at around the same time?

#9 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 07:16 PM

I agree with Alf, and have a vested interest here which could be helpful, as my partner is an academic at Bristol University who specialises in gender and politics, particularly the question of women's representation and whether it is making a difference. She has her own library! (but unfortunately not on the main topic that was discussed)

#10 Caterina Gasparini

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 11:51 PM

I can also take care of women from Russia provided I can cope with this huge task …….

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe you already know about the Russian airwomen who flew bombers during WW2 in the war skies of Europe. There was nothing like that in either the American or the British Air Forces. The Germans called them "the night witches". It seems that only Queen Elizabeth's father knew about their deeds and sent the Russian government some presents which they never received.

My source is in Italian:
Marina Rossi, Le streghe della notte - Storie e testimonianze dell' aviazione femminile in U.R.S.S. (1941-1945),
Ed. Unicopli, 2005, 192 pag, 16 euro

#11 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 10:34 AM

The first time I came across the European Schoolnet was not because of the Virtual School History Department but through a teaching pack produced by Ruth Tudor, designed to help teach 20th century women's history.

Posted Image

http://www.en.eun.or...lang=en&ov=1732

I'd forgotten all about it until this week. It is downloadable in PDF (116 pages) and activity based. There are case studies on Russia and oral history.

From the outline:

The issue of 'women' occupies very different places in European society. In parts of Europe, women's studies are in their nascent stage. In others, the topic is mainstream in the media and the young are confronted with the mass of information that this entails. In some countries, radical forces of both the extreme right and left have claimed to serve the cause of 'women's rights'.

Within European schools' curricula, the status and quality of women's history is variable. While some countries have made women's history a legal requirement within the school curriculum, others are beginning to introduce it. In all European countries there is a shortage of resources to support the teaching of women's history at school level. In view of its vital link to democratic society, one of the aims of this book is to make the study of women a topical issue in the classroom. Given the elusive and sometimes sensitive nature of the subject, the school is surely one of most credible places to examine it.

It is also our intention that this teaching pack will contribute to young people's understanding of gender equality, including the social and individual forces that have and still do push against it. Without equality of opportunity between all of Europe's citizens, regardless of their sex, precious resources are lost and European democracy can only be partial.

I wonder if we might be given rights to use some of the content of this? Does anyone know the authors Ruth Tudor, Elena Osokina and Phil Ingram?

#12 Juan Carlos

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:50 PM

This publication was elaborated in the framework of a Council of Europe's project:
Learning and teaching about the history of Europe in the 20th century
It includes this book Teaching 20th century women’s history: A classroom approach that can be downloaded in this URL.
Actually, I included this Council of Europe's project in my presentation in the Toulouse meeting, but I forgot to mention it :)

It would be very interesting to get in touch with the historians who worked in that project. I have applied for a Council of Europe's course "Migration flows in the 21st century" that will be delivered next May. If I get the grant and my educational authorities let me attend to the course, I will try to get in touch with some of the historians working in the framework of the Council of Europe

#13 Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:03 PM

I have been in touch with some collegues of mine at the Department of Womens Studies in Gothenburg and I have received more than enough material...
Do I understand your suggestions correctly if we try to cover some of the following topics in the 20th Century;
The Emancipation process
Women during the war(s)
Women in politics
Women during the 60's
Womens liberation during the later part of the 20th century
Oral History Project - The changing role of women during the later half of the 20th century...(
my suggestion)

My first smaller article will be about womens emancipation in Sweden and Finland. After that I'll try to cover "Women during the war" (especially WWII). Should we publish our results here? What format would be best? Size of the articles? I beleive it's important to carry out studies that allow comparisons... and to be able to do that we need to have some more common grounds...
As you can see I have several problems/questions which I need to solve/answer before I start.

#14 Nico Zijlstra

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 04:40 PM

I'm taking care of the history of women in the Netherlands, and I'll try to do my best for Germany.
I'll as an Austrian collegue to look for Austrian (Habsburgian) materials.

Maybe you already know about the Russian airwomen who flew bombers during WW2 in the war skies of Europe.

Here's one of them (with me in the background!) We had a good laugh on May 8th 2004!

Posted Image

Oral History Project - The changing role of women during the later half of the 20th century...(my suggestion)

My students love this theme! Suggestions for a set of lessons would do, I think.

Edited by Nico Zijlstra, 15 March 2005 - 04:43 PM.


#15 Juan Carlos

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:56 PM

Here's one of them (with me in the background!) We had a good laugh on May 8th 2004!

She looks like quite impressive woman the Russian bomber airwoman! You have to tell us about this meeting in Toulouse.

My first smaller article will be about womens emancipation in Sweden and Finland. After that I'll try to cover "Women during the war" (especially WWII). Should we publish our results here? What format would be best? Size of the articles? I beleive it's important to carry out studies that allow comparisons... and to be able to do that we need to have some more common grounds...
As you can see I have several problems/questions which I need to solve/answer before I start.


I believe that we should not write quite long articles. Actually, I am thinking about write articles suitable for the last grade before University.

I and my colleague Ramón Burgaleta are thinking of setting up a site divided in chronological way:
1. 1900-1931 A weak feminist movement
2. 1931-1936 Second Republic: dramatic changes
3. 1936-1939 Civil war: two different Spains, Republican and Nationalist Spain
4. 1939-1975 The long Franco's dictatorship: the National-Catholicism
5. 1975-2000 Spanish women are not different anymore

The site will include biographies, historical texts, glossary, images, collection of links...

At the same time we want to display a wide range of activities on line that can exemplify how the internet and ICT can be used for teaching history. We will use different software like Flash, Pinnacle...

We are elaborating activities with dynamic graphics, chronology... textual analysis on line, analysing videoclips and images, analyising primary sources (mainly newspapers). Our intention is that most of the activities can be done on line.

Well, all that is what we intend to do... I hope to find time enough to do it. :(

My intention is to display a range of activities on line that can be showed and taught to our "students" in the course after our project.

P.S.
I will try to add up some resources on Portugal.




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