When Benito Mussolini
came into power, implementing these policies, his regime tactics proved
to take a lot from women, acting to exploit them in various ways. This
held true especially for working-class and peasant women. First, fascists
sought greater control over the already traditional role of the female,
particularly motherhood. For example, in 1934, a law was passed that expanded
benefits and coverage for women employed in industry. As a result, these
women were given a two-month paid “compulsory leave.” They were also guaranteed
time off to breast-feed newborns until they were a year old and the government
provided feeding rooms for nursing women working in factories that employed
more than fifty working women so they could breast-feed their babies at work.
Furthermore, women were allotted a lump-sum payment when they gave birth,
which immediately gave them a two-month wage when they had a baby.
Additionally, to offset the costs of big families, the party looked to make
childbearing seem as if it were a service to the state. To do so, the government
set aside a day to honor mothers and distributed various posters that depicted
motherhood as a national duty for women. Thus, Mother’s Day came to celebrate
prolific mothers and especially recognize those mothers who had the most
children. Women were constantly reminded of the importance and honor of being
a mother of many children.
Melting Wedding Bands