A 'New' Woman for a 'New' Spain: The Sección Femenina de la Falange and the Image of the National Syndicalist Woman.

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The Sección Femenina de la FET was founded in 1934 as part of the Spanish Falange. Starting in April 1937 the SF functioned as the sole secular women's organization of the Franco regime, employing a network of professional, provincial and local delegates throughout the country. Despite its adherence to a radical right-wing ideology and its functioning within an authoritarian regime membership within the SF offered many women a life of unusual public activism, both professionally and politically. The current paper offers a reading of the SF's gendered discourse, which takes into consideration the relationship between both its progressive and conservative elements. My contention is that in the case of the SF one cannot talk of a model of 'old-fashioned' femininity, which was replaced over the years by a model of 'modern' femininity, but rather about modernist and conservative elements, which existed in the organizational rhetoric side by side from the beginning. Within this context the 'modern' elements were highly significant and their definition was more or less constant as long as the messages were aimed at a population of a specific socio-economic standing and education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-605
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Fascism & women
  • Women in politics
  • Franco, Francisco, 1892-1975
  • Primo de Rivera, Pilar
  • Social change
  • Activists
  • Fascism & culture
  • Spanish politics & government, 1939-1975
  • Spanish social conditions
  • Spanish politics & government, 1931-1939
  • 20th century Spanish history
  • Spain
  • fascism
  • Franco regime
  • gender


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