Jasmine CalverDec 5, 2022
Anti-Fascism, Gender, and International Communism
The Comité Mondial Des Femmes Contre la Guerre Et Le Fascisme, 1934-1941
Women played an essential role in the international struggle against fascism during the interwar period, though their work has been neglected in broader historiography. In Anti-Fascism, Gender, and International Communism (Routledge, 2022), Jasmine Calver provides a comprehensive history of the Comité mondial des femmes contre la guerre et le fascisme (the International Committee of Women Against War and Fascism, or CMF), an international women's organization concerned with confronting the impact of fascism on women and children across the globe. Examining the CMF's key figures and campaigns during its short 1934-41 tenure, Calver reveals its place at the forefront of global debates about the threat posed by fascism and imperialism. This book explores how the professional women activists and the working-class women who populated the organization developed a committee which advocated for women on a global scale. CMF campaigns around the Spanish Civil War, rising Nazism in Germany, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia show its international ambitions. Using newly-available sources to assess CMF congresses, correspondence, travels, and publications, Calver uncovers the complexities of its links to the Communist International, and its status as an early Popular Front organization. The book comes at an important time to reevaluate the successes and failures of historical efforts to combat rising fascist movements.
Rebecca Turkington is a PhD Candidate in History at Cambridge University studying transnational women’s networks.