|About the Book|
This book - now in paperback - explores the role played by the Female Section of the Spanish Fascist Party (Seccion Femenina de la Falange - SF) in promoting womens political and professional rights within the authoritarian Franco regime in Spain.MoreThis book - now in paperback - explores the role played by the Female Section of the Spanish Fascist Party (Seccion Femenina de la Falange - SF) in promoting womens political and professional rights within the authoritarian Franco regime in Spain. While acknowledging the organizational and financial ties, as well as the great ideological affinity between the SF and the regime, the book demonstrates how the SFs national leadership promoted an autonomous social and political agenda. Despite the need to constantly maneuver between the cultural and legal dictates of Francoist society, the unique activities and personal experiences of SF members at the heart of political power became a model for an array of policies and reforms that greatly improved the lives of Spanish women. From a unique gender perspective, consideration of the Secci n Femenina de la Falange contributes to the debate on the nature of authoritarian regimes by reflecting on issues of policy formation and implementation, mass mobilization, and the role of coercion alongside the creation of a culture of consent. In exchange for a long-term commitment to the survival of the regime, both the Catholic Church and the Spanish Falange gained considerable administrative power and a measure of freedom to act on political and social matters. As explained, the promotion of womens legal and political equality, reflected in the struggle to amend the Civil Code and ratify the Law for Political and Professional Rights, is a good example of the way organs within the regime made use of their position in order to legitimize non-consensual forms of activism. The SF efforts to increase the number of gainfully employed women and improve their working conditions is an example of the unexpected uses made by agents of the regime of the freedom of action accorded them in the public arena. Senoritas in Blue raises questions regarding the nature of womens political activism and the capacity for autonomous action within authoritarian regimes, setting out the debate on the nature of feminism and its relation to female activism and the promotion of women as a collective. More specifically, the book engages with those works that critically evaluate womens public contribution within Catholic and/or nationalist settings.