Spurring Women to Action? Communist-led Women’s Trade Unionism Between the Hungarian Shop Floor and Top-level Internationalism, 1947 to 1959
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PublisherTaylor & Francis
Title / Series / NameJournal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis exploratory article discusses the politics of promoting women’s trade unionism in Hungary and at the World Federation of Trade Unions from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. It examines the factors that propelled and restricted the development of these politics on, and shaped their travel between, the workplace and the national and international scales. In Hungary, a network of women trade unionists combined their alignment with the political and productivist sides of the project of “building socialism” with activities aimed at the cultural and social “elevation” of women workers and the promotion of their trade unionism. On the international plane, the position of the Central and Eastern European politics of women’s trade unionism was likewise, though very differently, impacted by the emphasis on “building socialism.” Within the women’s politics pursued by the WFTU internationally, the distinctions made between socialist, capitalist, and colonial countries translated into rather restrictive roles envisioned for Central European women’s trade unionism. For a variety of reasons, which were related to all scales of action, the connection between the WFTU’s politics of promoting women’s trade unionism and the activities developed by the Hungarian women trade unionists remained rather weak during the period.
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