The Francoist repressive strategy unleashed after the coup d’état of 17 July 1936 developed complex mechanisms of physical and psychological punishment.
Within Franco’s repressive system there was a specific procedure applied to Republican women. In this article, I provide an analysis of the repression suffered by women during the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship in southwest Spain. For that purpose, I draw on stories of female victims, who suffered physical and psychological humiliation, and on mass graves with bodies of
women. The research is based on a holistic study of material, oral and written sources from a historical, archaeological and forensic anthropological perspective.
It is argued that the different repressive strategies used against the female population by Spanish fascism was motivated by the perception of women as second-class citizens and therefore inferior to men. Their punishment followed criteria of exemplarity.