During the first and second world war, women in Italy had a very specific role in Mussolini-led government: they were expected to marry at a young age and bear many children- ideally seven- in order to boost the work force and provide more manpower to the military. Mussolini was dissatisfied with the decline of the Italian population after World War I, and so he wanted a larger population in order to secure economic and military force and become a prominent world power. He implemented his policy in many different ways, such as offering tax benefits for families with more than six children and placing high taxes on bachelors.
Wearing a dark-colored dress and a pair of heels, a woman briskly struts down the streets of Italy with a focused expression on her face. She concentrates intensely on the path in front of her and, as she hurries down the street, her dress flows elegantly behind her. To her right, several potted plants that are as nearly as tall as the woman line the side of a store named "Marisa". This photograph demonstrates the strong impressions of elegance and style that are often present in Italy. Something about that gaze seems to defy the restrictive expectations of her day.
This photo was snapped by American photographer and soldier, George Sakata, who was a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.