In his new book Soviet Influences on Postwar Yugoslav Gender Policies
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Ivan Simic
explores how Yugoslav communists learned, adapted, and applied Soviet gender policies in their efforts to build their own egalitarian society after World War II. Attending to the gap between ideas and practices, he discusses how the deeply entrenched patriarchal norms within Yugoslav society created numerous obstacles when it came to changing gender norms and policies. Tracing how considerations of gender affected wide-ranging arenas from labour policies, to the collectivization of agriculture, to policies concerning youth sexuality, to the law banning the veil for Muslim women, Simic demonstrates how Soviet models continued to inform Yugoslav policies long after the Tito-Stalin split in 1948.
Jelena Golubovic is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.