The Catholic and the Communist Women's Press in Post-War Italy—An Analysis of Cronache and Noi Donne
This article aims to provide a systematic, comparative analysis of two of the main women's mass publications in order to trace continuities and changes in the development of women's role in the public sphere in Italy. The analysis begins with an elaboration of the social and political context, which is crucial for the understanding of media texts in general. It shows how the existence of only limited political spaces in post-war Italian society due to the polarisation of Catholicism and communism delayed both an open political discourse on women's conditions and the gradual development of an autonomous and lay feminist movement. Noi Donne of Union Donne Italiene (UDI) was closely aligned with and financed by the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and lacked any substantial autonomy until the early 1970s, while Cronache of the Catholic women's organisation Centro Italiano Femminile (CIF) was a faithful instrument for the propagation of those Catholic concepts of femininity that were redefined and reinforced by the Vatican in the Catholic publication Civiltà Cattolica.
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