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Czech Women's participation during underground samizdat activity in the normalization era 1969-1989

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During the so-called normalization era between 1969 and 1989, samizdat articles and books played a significant role in the resistance. They were copied by hand, unofficially distributed at home, and smuggled out of the country. Once outside, the texts were published in magazines and broadcast on foreign radio. As a result, people in Czechoslovakia were able to hear the illegal texts from foreign broadcasts. It was mainly women who performed the tasks of copying and distributing these materials, even though such activities were illegal in Czechoslovakia at the time. Yet, the activities of women are less well known than those performed by men during the same period, despite the fact that the activities women were engaged in were more dangerous than the men’s activities. The same can be said of the women in exile who helped in these illegal activities, because as yet they have gained little recognition inside or outside the country. Women’s demands and issues were not included in Charter 77 and other civic declarations. Czech women emphasised human rights and the interests of the majority rather than particular women’s issues. The incentive to notice the role of women in the resistance movement originated mainly among women in the West. Czech women did not differentiate themselves along gender lines.
Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Title: Czech Women's participation during underground samizdat activity in the normalization era 1969-1989
Description:
During the so-called normalization era between 1969 and 1989, samizdat articles and books played a significant role in the resistance.
They were copied by hand, unofficially distributed at home, and smuggled out of the country.
Once outside, the texts were published in magazines and broadcast on foreign radio.
As a result, people in Czechoslovakia were able to hear the illegal texts from foreign broadcasts.
It was mainly women who performed the tasks of copying and distributing these materials, even though such activities were illegal in Czechoslovakia at the time.
Yet, the activities of women are less well known than those performed by men during the same period, despite the fact that the activities women were engaged in were more dangerous than the men’s activities.
The same can be said of the women in exile who helped in these illegal activities, because as yet they have gained little recognition inside or outside the country.
Women’s demands and issues were not included in Charter 77 and other civic declarations.
Czech women emphasised human rights and the interests of the majority rather than particular women’s issues.
The incentive to notice the role of women in the resistance movement originated mainly among women in the West.
Czech women did not differentiate themselves along gender lines.

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