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Cover of Women's History Review

Women's History Review

Volume 19, Issue 4, Sep 2010
Pages 503-522

  • DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2010.502396
  • Print ISSN: 0961-2025
  • Online ISSN: 1747-583X

Forgotten Transnational Connections and National Contexts: an ‘entangled history’ of the political transfers that shaped Belgian feminism, 1890–1914

The history of Belgian feminism before World War I has hitherto been written almost exclusively from within a national framework. Using the perspective of ‘entangled history’, this article focuses on the forgotten transnational influences that shaped the pre‐war movement for women’s rights in Belgium, starting with the Dutch and French political transfers that triggered the birth of organised feminism in the early 1890s, followed by the interventions of the International Council of Women and the International Woman Suffrage Alliance aimed at creating a Belgian affiliation. This entangled history profoundly upsets the prevailing categorisation of socialist versus so‐called ‘bourgeois’ feminism and thus contributes to the growing international body of work that criticises these accepted concepts in feminist historiography.