Myth of Equality? Professional Life of Spanish Republican Women in Exile in Mexico

 

Dr. Marion Röwekamp

Roewekamp_Foto1She is a historian (PhD 2008 University of Munich) and a full fledged lawyer. She was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, at the “Five Women College Studies and Research Center” at Mount Holyoke College and worked as a John F. Kennedy Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. As a Feodor-Lynen-Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation she was researcher at CIESAS and the Colegio de México as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at UNAM in Mexico City. Currently she works at the Latin American Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin on her Habilitation titled: “Exile, Memory and (Trans)National Identity. Spanish Republicans in Mexico”. In 2005 she has authored “Juristinnen. Lexikon zu Leben und Werk” and in 2011 “Die ersten deutschen Juristinnen: Eine Geschichte ihrer Professionalisierung und Emanzipation 1900-1945”.

While the research on the Spanish Republican exile in Mexico has mainly concentrated on the ‘intellectual male exile’ this article will focus on the female Republican exile. It attempts to analyze whether the promises of gender equality that were granted in the constitution of the Second Republic prevailed in exile, whether the Republicans transferred all democratic ideals equally to their exile or whether some achievements were less important to uphold in the Spanish community than others and thus remained at least partly a myth.

It analyzes the equality of women in two ways: First in terms of the development of their professional life in their new host country, considering especially the aspect of how far women participated in the ‘intellectual exile’ of their community. Second in terms of equality within the marriage and the family in the Republican community.