The author presents an overview of the most relevant publications concerning Catholic women’s political action in Republican Italy. The earliest studies in this field were carried out by Paola Gaiotti de Biase, who is still the most authoritative scholar in this area. Situated at the crossroads between political history, women’s political history and the history of the Catholic Church, her analyses and interpretations of the relationship between the Church, religion and modernity and of the relationship between women and secularization have been crucial in the development of a number of studies on Italian women’s associations. Indeed, the gender perspective helps clarify several core historiographic issues regarding Republican Italy. It has been instrumental in bringing about what we recognize today as a pluralistic and long-established historiography that acknowledges the importance of a plurality of points of view for the advancement of historical knowledge.
Keywords: Women, politics, Catholic Church, modernity, secularization, Republican Italy