How Mussolini Ruled Italian Women

TitleHow Mussolini Ruled Italian Women
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsDe Grazia, Victoria
EditorFrançoise Thébaud
Series EditorDuby, Georges, and Michelle Perrot
Book TitleA History of Women in the West: Toward a Cultural Identity in the Twentieth Century
Number of Volumes5
PublisherHarvard University Press

Victoria de Grazia examines the role of women in Benito Mussolini’s Italy arguing that the lives of Italian women were inextricably tied to the policies of Mussolini’s dictatorship. Through the use of regime propaganda, speeches, and contemporary studies, women found themselves caught between the Italian state’s want for both traditional gender roles, as advocated by the Catholic Church, and the modernization of women. Although traditional concepts of womanhood were forced upon women, Italian policy was ripe with contradictions.  Ultimately the policies of fascist Italy pulled women in opposite directions. The state wanted women to revert to their traditional roles in the home, but at the same time fostered the modernization of women. [Robert Thompson]

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