Conquering a Political Space: Women Candidates in the Local Elections of 1946
In 1946, Italian women exercised their political rights for the first time: they voted and were voted for. This article investigates the dynamics of voting at the local level in local elections, the first to be held that year. Through an analysis that takes into consideration the cultural and social characteristics of the electoral competition, it is possible to see the difference between how political parties presented women’s political participation and how women politicians defined it, the factors favouring or penalising female candidates and in which cases women are elected. Thus, the administrative elections of 1946 appear to be a crucial moment in the formation of the long-term characteristics of the nascent democracy with regard to political participation and women’s rights in Italy.
keywords: women, politics, 1946 elections, gender history, calabria, pisa, political parties