The history of post-war transitions in Istria is closely related to geopolitical changes in the region. Istria’s post-war integration into new state frameworks incited manifold migration phenomena after both World Wars. The new national affiliations determined chiefly the migration of the middle class, especially the ranks of the clerical and teaching professions, which demonstrated a significant share of women. After the Second World War migratory decisions also affected the industrial labour force, including women employed in the tobacco and fish-processing industries. During the establishment of a rigid state border between the Western capitalist system and Yugoslav socialism, women’s labour market experienced noticeable disruptions, but they were not always as radical as one would imagine. Women’s mobility between Trieste and the Istrian hinterland was maintained even during the strictest control of the Italian-Yugoslav border and even before the introduction of the demarcation line between Zone A and Zone B. The paper will draw attention to the issue of continuity and discontinuity in the study of the history of women’s work and will emphasize the necessity of elucidating the gender dynamics in the historiographic analysis of Istrian post-war transitions in the 20th century. Additionally, it will take into account that post-war periods were strongly affected by the political use of violence, which targeted also the female segment of Istria’s population.


Marta Verginella