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Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948$
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Mark Cornwall and R J W Evans

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263914

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263914.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.44) (p.45) 4 The New ‘Woman Question’: Gender, Nation, and Citizenship in the First Czechoslovak Republic
Source:
Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948
Author(s):

Melissa Feinberg

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263914.003.0004

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 pre-war 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.

Keywords:   Czechoslovakia, Woman Question, citizenship, women, women's rights, Tomáš Masaryk, liberal democracy, feminism, gender equality, universal suffrage

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