The role of women within far-right groups, both in the past and the present, is quite unique and interesting. Lopez and Sanchez discuss the role of women during the Spanish Civil War which shares similar patterns that are discussed in Lower’s book about German women that had roles within the Nazi regime. Even in modern times, women continue to be extremely important for far-right groups.
During the Spanish Civil War, the milicianas were young women dressed in worker’s overalls who marched alongside other women and men to defend the Republic. However, even in academia, there are few studies done on the Nationalist women who participated within the Civil War as historians mainly focused on the more active conservative women who were active participants in politics. This was also the same for German women in the Nazi system. However, Lopez and Sanchez emphasize that women were most important for espionage, counterespionage and information processing. So, they did maintain important roles. As for those during the Third Reich, women became nurses, prison guards, and secretaries as support under the Nazi regime.
Even in modern times, women are increasingly more involved as far-right groups are shifting to appeal to female voters. Just like in the Spanish Civil War and during the Nazi regime, far-right groups focus on the working-class and women who feel they are being left behind along with their male counterparts. Not only that, but more far-right groups are willing to accept women and LGBTQ within their policies. It’s interesting because far-right groups are typically seen as being conservative and completely against any liberal idea that doesn’t follow the typical patriarchal hierarchy.
Angelique Chrisafis, “From Le Pen to Alice Weidel: How the European far-right set its sight on women” The Guardian January 29, 2019
Sofía Rodríguez López and Antonio Cazorla Sánchez. “Blue Angels: Female Fascist Resisters, Spies and Intelligence Officials in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–9.” Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 53, no. 4, (Oct. 2018), pp. 692–713.
Wendy Lower, Hitler’s Furies (Houghton Mifflin, 2013)