|Muslim Women and Women’s Movement in Bulgaria (the 1940s-1970s): Emancipation, Modernization, Assimilation|
|The paper deals with “a blank” in Bulgarian historiography on the ground of new archival documentation and published documents. It focuses on the crossroads of gender, religion, culture and politics.
The paper researches character of women’s movement in Bulgaria after the establishment of communist regime – democratization of membership, transformation of goals, and different ways of propaganda. The success to involve minority (and particularly Muslim) women is commented in comparison with similar processes in USSR, Yugoslavia and Albania.
The paper analyses the participation of Muslim women in structures and initiatives of Bulgarian women’s movement in regard to the three goals of totalitarian regime: to emancipate them by force, to modernize their life-style, and in case to assimilate the Pomak women to Bulgarian nation.
On the base of different examples the paper concludes that during 1940-1970s the strategy of Bulgarian communist state towards Muslim women takes effects for both sides. The regime achieved in establishing a women’s state, mass organization, a support in border regions; in carrying out activities for modernization (liquidation of illiteracy, industrialization, collective agriculture, improving of living standards); and in building of Muslim women’s elite, who were party members and sympathizers. Muslim women, on the other side, went out from private to public sphere, threw off the male domination in their families, obtained rights of education and labour outside of home, adjusted themselves to modern cultural practices.