The Union of French Women during the Trente Glorieuses: Between “social mothering”, women’s rights and Communism

By Dominique Loiseau

After 1945, the development of the Union of French Women (Union des femmes françaises, UFF), founded during the Resistance, corresponded to the French Communist Party’s determination to bring working class women together in a large-scale organisation with clear political demands. This paper, without denying the role that the UFF played in conveying the French Communist Party’s positions, endeavours to describe its members, activist methods and fields of action by focusing on its activities. The UFF’s objective was to make daily problems into means for politicisation, through social mothering-like activities. Yet other themes were also used (e.g. peace, supporting strikes, women’s rights), and the divergence between members and activist leaders sometimes led to contradictory situations (e.g. divergences on the views of women working in the labour force).

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