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Tuesday 11 June 2024 14.00 - 15.30
B153 -2 FEM1 Expert discourses and struggles around the regulation of women’s labour
SAL 48.1
aaaaFeminist Labour History Working Groupbbbb
Network: Feminist Labour History Chairs: -
Organizers: - Discussant: E. Varsa
A. Gagyiova : “To the last drop”: Complicating the relationship of work and motherhood at the example of breastmilk donation in 1950s Hungary
In the early period of state socialist societies, medical experts discussed the importance of breastfeeding in their struggle against infant mortality. Based on expert understanding that infants below one year of age died many times more (e.g., in Hungary, seven times more) than breastfed babies, efforts in nurturing positive attitudes ... (Show more)
In the early period of state socialist societies, medical experts discussed the importance of breastfeeding in their struggle against infant mortality. Based on expert understanding that infants below one year of age died many times more (e.g., in Hungary, seven times more) than breastfed babies, efforts in nurturing positive attitudes towards breastfeeding and providing mother milk to babies in need ran high. Hungary, like many other state socialist countries, established a net of milk banks that relied on the willingness of nursing mothers to donate excess milk. This was motivated by combatting a still existing black market with exorbitant prices and the risk of contaminated or fraudulent milk. In this context, the paper will discuss how in 1955, a strike of milk donating mothers for higher remuneration amplified the overall scarcity of breastmilk, exposing a Marxist reasoning for the (hidden) labour of a woman’s body. (Show less)

N. Jarska : Women’s work and women’s health. Medical expertise and protective legislation in post-war Poland
This paper aims to analyze expert discourse in the realm of medicine and women’s work in post-war Poland and its impact on labor legislation. The early post-war period saw an expansion of protective legislation regarding women’s work (1948, 1951) which was further revised in the subsequent decades, balancing between protection ... (Show more)
This paper aims to analyze expert discourse in the realm of medicine and women’s work in post-war Poland and its impact on labor legislation. The early post-war period saw an expansion of protective legislation regarding women’s work (1948, 1951) which was further revised in the subsequent decades, balancing between protection of motherhood and restriction of access to particular jobs for women. Women’s health as (prospective) mothers remained in the focus, as motherhood was mainly understood as biological condition that affected women’s work capacities and health the most. In the early 1950s, the development of factory healthcare system enabled medical doctors to conduct large-scale studies on women workers’ health and the relationship between health and work in industry. From the late 1950s (during destalinization), these interest expanded, leading to interdisciplinary studies on women’s work. In this field, female scholars played a dominant role. (Show less)

E. Luif : Work or Hobby? Home-Based Work in the System of (Gendered) Labour Regulation in Interwar Austria
In November 1928, the labour inspectorate of the western Austrian province Vorarlberg informed the Ministry of Social Affairs of difficulties in implementing the compulsory health insurance for home-based workers. Employers were confused if they had to insure their employees against illness, as often wives of peasants or workers engaged in ... (Show more)
In November 1928, the labour inspectorate of the western Austrian province Vorarlberg informed the Ministry of Social Affairs of difficulties in implementing the compulsory health insurance for home-based workers. Employers were confused if they had to insure their employees against illness, as often wives of peasants or workers engaged in home-based work only during their free time in order “not to indulge in idleness”. In these cases, they argued, home-based work was only a secondary income next to the women’s principal occupation as housewives. Therefore, it could not be classified as a professional (berufsmäßige) occupation subject to compulsory health insurance. (Show less)



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