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Spain emerged from the Civil War with many economic difficulties and problems. The Civil unrest wiped out foreign exchanges and gold reserves thus affecting the economy. The agricultural and industrial sectors had also become ineffective towards economic growth and sustainability.
The war also led to global shortages of raw materials, industrial products, and foodstuffs. The Franco regime after 1939 wanted to apply a dictatorial approach to bring new economic policies to promote self-sufficiency and economic empowerment. In the 1940s, the economic growth of the country retarded but took time to recover.
By the 1950s, the GDP was at 40 per cent and soon the economy began to grow due to increased black markets, tripling prices, and increased foreign trade. Women also played a huge role to transform the economic system of Spain.
Women during the Franco Era
After the Second World War ended, Franco controlled Spain through continued implementation of economic policies and austere approaches to monitor the economic growth. Although the country lacked democracy, Spain achieved a lot in its economic structure. The regime professed that women should continue acting according to the contemporary roles of gender in the society (Twomey, 2000, p. 32).
Through the social order and organization, the regime considered women services relevant to improve the conditions in the society. The end of the Civil War in the country resulted in the voluntary society service.
During the era, history shows that women played the role of military vanguards. The women in the society were compelled to complete a set of social duties in the society thereby promoting the growth and success of the society. For example, women were helping in shops, working as teachers, and administering medical responsibilities in the country. This was a compulsory service taking the women six months to complete.
The service was mandatory if a person wanted to get a driver’s license, a passport, or even a university degree (Twomey, 2000, p. 48). After finishing the service, it was a major requirement that women received training from physicians and priests. The regime considered this social service in the country relevant to prepare women to a greater course in the country’s economy.
According to the regime, the social service was an important vehicle to promote the ideology without necessarily applying any oppressive means. At the same time, women learned how to complete household chores and take care of their own children. This was the best idea to improve the contribution of women to the Hispanic society.
Another important observation during the Franco era was that women were more empowered because of the social service. During the time, women were actively involved in sports and other forms of physical education. However, majority of the men in the society were against the idea (Sanchez, 2009, p. 12).
During the period, majority of the women changed to become modern. The society fought for their training thereby giving them a better chance of becoming nurses and becoming income earners in the society. During the same era, there were increased rights of the women therefore giving them liberty to own a family (Sanchez, 2009, p. 16). They also had the liberty to get married and had children. Some women were homemakers during the Franco era.
History also shows that some women were tortured during the era especially those who seemed to support the new regime. Their children were stolen and trafficked thereby oppressing them. This was to oppress them and make sure they supported the rebels. This situation continued to affect the welfare of women in the society thus making their lives unbearable in the society (Ellwood, 2007, p. 63).
During the time, women who combined their religious understanding and justice to promote their ideologies and become powerful members of the society formed the Seccion Femenina. The group made it possible for state their positions in the society and the need for continued empowerment.
The other thing is that, during the era, women had different views and opinions about Dictator Franco. For instance, some women believed that he was a great leader because it was because of the regime that they became educated, became empowered, and gained much attention from the government. However, some women considered the regime inadequate and oppressive because they did not achieve much in the society (Miller, 2008, p. 46).
The most important thing to consider here is that women gained much attention during the period and were able to pursue their personal goals. They became educated and got a chance to practice their own careers. The period saw an increasing number of female practitioners, nurses, teachers, and civil servants.
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It is notable that the authoritarian Franco regime imposed explicit policies and ideologies on the country’s citizens. Although the regime imposed these ideologies in an indirect manner, it became a unique source of foundation towards the establishment of the country future history.
Despite the explicit ideologies such as the social service imposed by the government, it is agreeable that women in the society became powerful and were in a position to achieve their personal goals and fulfillment. Although majority of the women were empowered during the Franco era, it is still acknowledgeable that majority of the women were supposed to act under their husbands (Ellwood, 2007, p. 63). They were also supposed to stick to the gender roles, take care of their children, and support their husbands in every little thing.
The idea is that the familial hierarchy was significant in the society during Franco’s era. With this kind of order, it was possible to achieve economic improvements based on the strong family foundation and increased participation in nation building activities (Miller, 2008, p. 49).
Despite the familial order, the women were also encouraged to perform in the society and undertake economic activities to empower themselves and achieve their goals. The empowerment of the Spanish woman was one of the greatest achievements that led to the continued economic growth in the country.
Between 1939 and 1975, Spain was under Francisco Franco, a dictator who tried to apply a specific kind of ideology through a social approach. The regime put in place the social service program to improve the social status and conditions in the country.
Although this was considered a dictatorial idea, it played a huge role in empowering women and ensuring their realized their personal goals and potential in the society. They became free and obtained different employment opportunities in the society. At the same time, the regime professed the traditional roles of females in the society. This made it possible to have powerful families and helped promote economic growth.
Ellwood, S 2007. Spanish fascism in the Franco era, Oxford Press, Madrid.
Miller, K 2008. Women in Hispanic Literature: Icons and Fallen Idols, Wiley and Sons, New York.
Sanchez, A 2009. Fear and Progress: Ordinary Lives in Franco’s Spain, 1939-1975, McGraw, New York.
Twomey, L 2000. Women in contemporary culture: Roles and identities in France and Spain, Longman, Madrid.