The Fascist ventennio sounded the death knell for Italian feminism. Some women initially continued to belong to autonomous organisations but these gradually disappeared. Considerably greater numbers frequented Catholic groups and a few were active in clandestine anti-fascist groupings. By far the largest female organisations in this period, however, were Fascist. Fascism politically mobilised women and girls on an unprecedented scale, in vastly greater numbers than previous political parties had done. In November 1920, for example, the PSI had only a few thousand female members (about 2 per cent of their membership) and, by December 1921, only a few hundred (about 1 per cent of the membership) had joined the new Communist Party. About 15 per cent of the membership of trade unions (whether Catholic or socialist) was female by 1920. At most, tens of thousands belonged to feminist organisations. Such figures pale into insignificance when compared with the Fascist mobilisation.
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