Constructing Citizenship? - Women, Welfare and Refugees (France, 1939-1940)

Fiona Reid, Sharif Gemie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Women were central to the provision of welfare services in France during the refugee crises of the late 1930s. By building on the services created during the First World War, women, as either volunteers or professionals, actively cared for refugees and others during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the phoney war (September 1939 – May 1940) and the German invasion of 1940. French women’s involvement with refugee aid enabled them to develop a sense of autonomous civil and political activism, especially – although not exclusively – in their work with the French Red Cross. In addition, the history of welfare activities for refugees illuminates how ordinary people dealt with the extraordinary circumstances of war, invasion and the forced movement of populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347 - 368
    Number of pages21
    JournalWomen’s History Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


    • women in war
    • world war 1939-1945-france
    • refugees
    • patriotism/citizenship


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