Emancipation

Becoming citizens: the politics of women’s emancipation in socialist Yugoslavia

Chiara Bonfiglioli
Postwar Sarajevo

In 1946, for the first time, women’s rights as political, social and economic beings were inscribed in the new Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as a result of women’s participation in the antifascist Resistance during World War Two. In the 1970s, thirty years after the inscription of women’s rights in the Yugoslav Constitution, the country had undergone a rapid process of modernization and urbanization. Nonetheless, socialist politics appeared progressive in comparison to the process of “retraditionalisation” of gender relations which took place in the 1990s.

In 1947 Didara Dukagjini, a seventeen-year-old ethnic Albanian girl raised in a wealthy family in the town of Prizren, was told by her father that she had to abandon her feredža/ferexhe, the full Islamic veil that covered her head and face when she ventured outside the house.

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