The Great War unsettled not just the geopolitical arrangement of a consistent part of Europe, but also previous gender boundaries and family relations. After the end of the conflict, the bordering cities of Fiume and Sušak went through a long transition characterized by administrative instability, economic uncertainty, as well as political and national tensions, before being integrated respectively into the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Focusing on the available sources in both Italian and Croatian, this article analyzes the case study of a border area in order to investigate women’s presence in the public sphere, considering both the political participation allowed by the different forms of suffrage and the associationism within political and philanthropic organizations. Moreover, in order to trace the reactions triggered by women’s activism, the article examines gender representations in the local press, mostly connected with the main conflicting political factions and dominated by male journalists.
Keywords: Upper Adriatic, Gender, Post-WW1, Politics, Representations