20th century Analytic theory Anarchism Books Europe Feminism Patriarchy

Free Women of Spain (1991)


Martha Ackelsberg


“In 1936, groups of women in Madrid and Barcelona founded Mujeres Libres, an organization dedicated to the liberation of women from their ‘triple enslavement to ignorance, as women, and as producers’. Although it lasted for less than three years (its activities in Spain were brought to an abrupt halt by the victory of Franco’s forces in February 1939), Mujeres Libres mobilized over 20,000 women and developed an extensive network of activities designed to empower individual women while building a sense of community.

Like the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist movement in which these women were rooted, Mujeres Libres insisted that the full develop­ment of women’s individuality was dependent upon the development of a strong sense of connection with others.

In this respect, as in a number of others, Mujeres Libres represents an alternative to the individualistic per­spectives characterizing mainstream feminist movements of that time and of our own.”

Martha Ackelsberg

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