Gendered Resistance: Women Partisans in Yugoslavia, 1941–1945

TitleGendered Resistance: Women Partisans in Yugoslavia, 1941–1945
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWiesinger, Barbara N.
EditorRöger, Maren, and Ruth Leiserowitz
Book TitleWomen and Men at War: A Gender Perspective on World War II and Its Aftermath in Central and Eastern Europe
CityOsnabrück, Germany

This chapter draws attention to the circumstances of women's involvement in armed struggle in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. Initially, the communist party did not plan to include women in the fight, but in 1942, the party ultimately decided to mobilize them. This happened for two reasons: the need to provide medical and nursing care, and also because of the pressure of women themselves to join the ranks of the guerrillas. As the author argues, their desire to take up an active fight against the occupying power was so strong that it overcame moral resistance and obstacles in the form of lack of military training. Despite the official acceptance of women as soldiers, their participation in the fight constantly aroused controversy, and they themselves had to deal with the shortage of military skills.

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