The New 'Woman Question': Gender, Nation, and Citizenship in the First Czechoslovak Republic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the question of women's citizenship in the new Czechoslovakia and how the 'Woman Question' evolved after 1918. The strong women's movement from prewar days was largely satisfied by the 1918 'revolution': Czech feminism fitted closely with Masarykian notions of democracy. The events of October 1918 fundamentally changed the debate over women's rights in the Bohemian lands. Within weeks, many Czechs had acknowledged that both men and women would be politically active in the new Czechoslovak Republic, treating universal suffrage as a given of the new political climate. Czech feminism linked an unswerving belief in gender equality with an equally unshakeable faith in liberal democracy, not only as the guarantor of women's rights, but as the essence of the Czech nation. This philosophy had many roots, but was perhaps most closely tied to the work of Tomáš Masaryk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCzechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918-1948
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191734359
ISBN (Print)9780197263914
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Feminism
  • Gender equality
  • Liberal democracy
  • Tomáš Masaryk
  • Universal suffrage
  • Woman question
  • Women
  • Women's rights

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