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A Bitter-Sweet Victory: Feminisms In France (1918-1923)

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Chapter Summary

Margarete Susman's critique of First World War politics seems to imply that only new ideas and agents can change the political field for the better. Taking this as a starting point, this chapter inquires into the role of gender in the politicial negotiation of this new world, focusing in particular on women's role in wartime strikes and industrial unrest, in the revolutionary Rätebewegung of 1918-20, and in post-war parliaments and political parties. With their roots in the organisational structure of the Paris Commune of 1871, Räte organisations formed in many European countries at the end of the First World War. The end of woman-specific, cross-party intervention coincided with the end of the short-lived Austrian First Republic, where, as one gender- specific aspect of the Austrian Revolution, women were granted formal political equality.

Keywords:Austrian Revolution; First World War; political equality; Räte organisations; women



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