par Masquelier, Juliette
Référence European Academy of Religions Sixth Annual Conference (2023-06-20: St Andrews, UK)
Publication Non publié, 2023-06-20
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : In Belgium, the movements of specialized Catholic Action for adult women have gathered a very large number of members since their foundation at the beginning of the 20th century for apostolic purposes. In spite of a traditionalist framework, these movements composed only of women (except for the chaplains) have been, from the beginning, important places of socialization and self-care for women. Based on the study of archives, publications and interviews with (former) members of the Ligues ouvrières féminines chrétiennes (Christian Workers Women’s leagues, called Vie féminine after 1969) and the Action catholique rurale des femmes (Rural Catholic Action for Women), this presentation will look at the history of the specialized Catholic Action for women after its "golden age": how did these organizations go through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, a time of secularization of Belgian and European society, and of profound transformations of women's status? I will show how these organizations continuously adapted to the challenges of the time in order to continue to gather a large number of Catholic women of different generations. Their positions on women's professional work, family roles, contraception and abortion (among others) thus evolved considerably between the late 1950s and the 1980s. My main assumption is to show how they used an internal perspective of Catholic women talking to other Catholic women, in order to help their members to adapt to social change (especially the values of gender equality), and to religious change (for example by mediating for their members the evolutions brought about by the Second Vatican Council).