MODULUL 6

FEMEILE VÂRSTNICE ȘI EGALITATEA DE GEN ÎN PROGRAMELE DE EDUCAȚIE A ADULȚILOR VÂRSTNICI

Cum sunt rolurile de gen ale bărbaților și femeilor și capitalul de gen (ca experiență) reflectate în educația adulților vârstnici și cum putem programa o educație diferențiată pe gen și bazată pe concepte pentru femeile vârstnice? Care sunt modurile de a gândi, de a vedea și de a cunoaște pentru formatorii din domeniul educației adulților?

Introducere

Rolurile de gen și (in-)egalitățile de gen sunt rareori abordate în programele educaționale pentru adulții vârstnici. Cu toate acestea, bărbații și femeile mai în vârstă se implică în educația adulților vârstnici, deoarece doresc să aparțină, să fie sprijiniți din punct de vedre social, politic și psihologic. Ei intră în programele de educație ca reprezentanți ai genului lor. Prin urmare, capitalul lor de gen trebuie să își găsească locul în programele educaționale. Există diferențe importante între a fi un cursant bărbat vârstnic sau o cursantă femeie vârstnică. În general, a fi o femeie vârstnică este considerat a fi un dezavantaj cumulativ (a fi femeie și a fi bătrână, a fi mai vulnerabilă decât bărbații și a fi dependentă de bărbați etc.). Este important să se identifice capitalul de gen pe care femeile îl aduc în educație și să se elaboreze programe educaționale de abilitare pentru și împreună cu acestea.

 

Modul pe scurt

Modulul este format din trei unități de învățare, urmate de secțiunile dedicate verificării înțelegerii și referințelor bibliografice.

  • Unitatea 1. Abordarea problemelor femeilor 
  • Unitatea 2. De ce este necesară o educație diferențiată de gen a adulților vârstnici
  • Unitatea 3. Programarea educației pentru femeile vârstnice
  • Verifică-ți înțelegerea. Următoarele afirmații sunt adevărate sau false?

Referinţe bibliografice 

Unitatea 1. Abordarea problemelor femeilor

 

Cu aceste povești am vrut să deschid discursul care îl face pe cititor să se confrunte cu tabuuri legate de îmbătrânire; am vrut să deschid subiecte precum slăbiciunea, boala, teama de moarte, pierderea demnității. Această carte vorbește despre a fi pierdut și nesigur în situații de zi cu zi care erau odată situații de rutină. Am dezvoltat această carte lent, cu conștiința propriei mele îmbătrâniri, mai ales după ce părinții mei au murit, când am început să ascult vocile din jurul meu, voci ale persoanelor vârstnice pe care nu le auzisem înainte. Totul este scris în povestiri, de la ireversibilitatea procesului de a deveni invizibil, sentimentul de vinovăție în ceea ce privește părinții și chiar povești care nu sunt ale mele, dar care m-au impresionat profund.

 

Unii ar putea argumenta că nu doar literatura, ci și domeniul educației adulților se ocupă de probleme legate de gen de mult timp. Participarea femeilor sau lipsa acesteia la educația adulților a fost explorată vreme de decenii. Dominanțele privind stilurile de învățare ale femeilor au fost examinate. Au fost în centrul atenției diferite roluri sociale ale femeilor, de la rolul de mamă și soție la rolurile lor profesionale. Au fost sondate atât responsabilitățile lor, cât și consecințele pe care schimbările rolurilor femeilor le-au avut asupra identităților femeilor. Dar rareori au fost examinate identitățile femeilor ca atare, ca fiind ale lor și doar ale lor, nu în raport cu bărbații și cu reacțiile lor în aceleași contexte, deși, așa am văzut înainte, femeile vârstnice ar trebui să știe cine sunt și ar trebui să fie conștiente că pot crește și pot deveni cine simt că pot deveni. Cu toate acestea, studiile privind femeile vârstnice și capitalul de gen pe care acestea îl aduc în educația adulților au fost rareori explorate și luate în considerare pentru dezvoltarea unui program educațional. În plus, femeile vârstnice nu solicită deschis mai multă vizibilitate, ele se adaptează. Identificarea modurilor în care femeile își pot depăși această condiție, în care pot lupta pentru egalitatea de gen și pot deveni conștiente de cine sunt, reprezintă o sarcină fundamentală în dezvoltarea programelor educaționale pentru femeile vârstnice.

 

Concentrându-vă pe situațiile femeilor, veți descoperi că acestea sunt descrise în legătură cu situațiile bărbaților. Și veți descoperi, de asemenea, că adesea datele statistice referitoare la femei lipsesc, astfel încât se poate deduce că analizele, teoriile, cercetările empirice sau practicile sunt doar despre aproximativ jumătate din populație. Pentru a ilustra acest punct, Frederick Gros, un filosof francez, autor al celei mai bine vândute cărți „Filosofia mersului pe jos” susține că mersul pe jos duce la gândire și că mulți mari gânditori din istorie au descris mersul lor ca un proces de gândire (Gros, 2000). El nu menționează nici măcar o singură femeie, iar cititorul se întreabă, pe bună dreptate, de ce nu se regăsesc și femei pe lista marilor gânditori. Lupta pentu echitate între barbate și femei ar fi mai rodnică dacă ar exista date despre ambele categorii.

 

Formatorii din domeniul educației adulților repetă că toate grupurile de vârstnici sunt eterogene, datorită experiențelor lor de viață și a cadrelor de referință atât de diverse. Totuși, ei uită să sublinieze că eterogenitatea persoanelor vârstnice se datorează, de asemenea, și genului lor. Dacă datele privind persoanele vârstnice, în general, nu sunt importante pentru studiile statistice, datele despre female vârstnice par a fi și mai puțin importante. În studiul PIAC, de exemplu, persoanele de peste 65 de ani nu au fost abordate de statele membre, cu excepția Germaniei, care a realizat un studiu suplimentar adresat persoanelor cu vârsta de peste 65 de ani și nevoilor acestora. 

 

Există numeroase abordări ale problemelor femeilor în cercetare și educație, însă cea mai comună dintre ele este abordarea opozițională, bazată pe distincția sexelor biologice, dintre bărbați și femei. Diferențele dintre bărbați și femei sunt adesea prezentate într-un mod dihotomic – femeile se opun bărbaților și invers. Femeile sunt fragile și neputincioase, iar bărbații sunt puternici. Categorizarea genurilor începe devreme în dezvoltare, cu sentimentele că băieții nu ar trebui să își arate emoțiile și că fetele ar trebui să se poarte frumos.

 

Această abordare opozițională a fost intensificată de diferite religii care au analizat și separat rolul femeilor și bărbaților. Femeile și bărbații au avut roluri economice diferite în domeniul producției, reproducerii și consumului. Femeile sunt supuse bărbaților din punct de vedere politic, economic, pedagogic și, practic, în toate modurile în care societatea își reflectă puterea, putere care este, cu puține sau fără excepții, investită în bărbați. Kant, de exemplu, se referă, în „Metafizica Moralei”, la „superioritatea naturală a soțului față de soție în capacitatea sa de a promova interesul comun al gospodăriei” și menționează lipsa capacității tuturor femeilor de a vota (Mosser, Kant și feminismul de Kurt Mosser, Dayton/Ohio).

 

Deoarece bărbații și femeile nu sunt la fel, ei sunt definiți de multe atribute masculine și feminine, care ar trebui recunoscute în educația adulților vârstnici. Femeile și bărbații ar trebui tratați în mod egal. Dar este într-adevăr așa? Diferențele de gen sunt construite și deconstruite. Identitatea bărbaților și a femeilor se formează diferit. Rolul de gen nu este stabil. Dimpotrivă, el este destul de dinamic, depinzând de timp și spațiu, de contextele sociale, politice, istorice și culturale. Cercetători precum Hugo, 1990, Lewis, 1988, Stalker, 2005, Belenky et al. (1986) argumentează faptul că femeile sunt unice, dar absente din cercetările empirice, fiind nevoie să le fie dedicată atenție. Alte cercetări susțin că femeile și bărbații sunt deopotrivă categorii complexe și diverse. Abordarea dihotomică funcționează diferit în contexte diferite. În contexte patriarhale, există o definiție a valorilor, abilităților și acțiunilor bărbaților, iar valorile, abilitățile și acțiunile femeilor sunt deficitar definite și doar în raport cu cele ale bărbaților. Ca urmare, poveștile, experiențele și cunoștințele tuturor femeilor sunt necesare pentru ca ele să își atingă propria emancipare autentică.

Unitatea 2. De ce este necesară o educație diferențiată de gen a adulților vârstnici 

 

Traseul educațional spre egalitatea de gen necesită consolidarea identității femeilor și creșterea nivelului lor de înțelegere asupra propriului gen și rolul de gen. Acesta presupune, de asemenea, încurajarea femeilor să își ia propriile decizii, să conteste stereotipurile cu privire la femeile vârstnice, să oprească discriminarea și să demoleze prejudecățile.

 

Orice tip și format de educație pentru persoanele vârstnice are propria sa tematică, desigur. Dar, în același timp, orice tip și format de educație pentru adulți reprezintă educație pentru abilitare, deoarece toate grupurile de vârstnici și, în special, grupurile de femei vârstnice, tind să fie împinse către periferia societății. Prin urmare, formatorii și mentorii sunt preocupați de atingerea unui nivel mai bun de înțelegere a ceea ce este și ce ar putea fi bătrânețea diferențiată pe gen în societatea europeană contemporană. Formatorii din domeniul educației adulților au nevoie de cunoștințe despre problemele specifice vârstei și, totodată, despre cele specifice genului.  Ei vor dobândi mai întâi o perspectivă teoretică asupra acestor aspecte și vor delimita situațiile în care egalitatea de gen este atinsă sau nu. Aceste teme se vor afla în centrul programelor educaționale pentru femeile vârstnice și vor include dreptul femeilor de a-și explora identitatea, de a nu fi descrise ca fiind mai bune sau mai puțin bune decât bărbații, așa cum este cazul societăților patriarhale. În general, în patriarhate bărbații sunt prezentați ca având abilități și calități mai bune decât femeile. În aceste societăți, femeile există ca soții și mame bune, ca persoane care au grijă de comfortul tuturor, dar ele nu există pentru ele însele. La fel ca și alte grupuri marginalizate social, femeile rareori știu ce ar putea deveni și nu se consideră titulari de drepturi. Valorile lor umane sunt apropiate de valorile europene de bază.

           

Rolurile sociale (un concept care determină identitatea socială a fiecăruia) sunt asumate, lăsate în urmă sau pierdute de-a lungul vieții. Femeile vârstnice și bărbații vârstnici pierd multe roluri, dar își pot asuma unele noi. O creștere a numărului de roluri sociale ale femeilor înseamnă mai multe posibilități pentru creșterea lor personală. Rolurile sociale necesită angajamentul femeilor vârstnice. Cu cât este mai mare angajamentul unei femei vârstnice, cu atât este mai bună capacitatea ei de a învăța, de a fi independentă și activă. Nivelul cunoștințelor și abilităților ei crește, sfera intereselor ei se lărgește și ea devine capabilă să își asume responsabilități mai complexe. O femeie cu mai multe roluri sociale va fi, de asemenea, mai pregătită pentru a se ajuta pe ea și pe ceilalți. Și toate acestea vor genera o identitate de sine pozitivă și bine structurată.

Unitatea 3. Programarea educației pentru femeile vârstnice

 

Formatorii și mentorii cursanților vârstnici nu se pot concentra doar pe subiectele sau temele lor, pe cunoștințele lor teoretice, pe metodele de utilizare etc., ci trebuie să țină cont de faptul că educația persoanelor vârstnice se referă, de asemenea, la emanciparea vârstnicilor, fie ei bărbați sau femei. Cursantele vârstnice ar trebui să-și schimbe atitudinea cu privire la propria persoană, ca femei în vârstă, și cu privire la bătrânețe în general, prin dezvoltarea de puncte de vedere relevante. Educația adulților vârstnici este transformativă atât pentru formatori, cât și pentru cursanți. De asemenea, educația este menită să sensibilizeze publicul larg cu privire la cine sunt femeile vârstnice, cu privire la valorile și drepturile lor, la identitatea și la experiențele lor de gen, pe care le aduc cu sine în procesul de instruire. Pentru a fi transformativă din punct de vedere social, educația persoanelor vârstnice este însoțită de campanii publice.

 

Din diferite motive, femeile vârstnice nu sunt un grup omogen. Există diferențe uriașe în cadrul unui grup și între grupurile de femei vârstnice. Spre exemplu, ele pot fi vârstnici care lucrează, femei vârstnice care se confruntă cu pensionarea sau aflate în etapa post-pensionare, după faza vieții profesionale etc. Prin urmare, atât din punct de vedere individual, cât și al societății, este important să se promoveze activitățile educaționale pentru toate grupurile de femei vârstnice.

 

Programele mai vechi de educație a adulților nu pot fi pur și simplu adaptate la nevoile percepute ale cursanților vârstnici. Acestea trebuie să fie personalizate și, în cea mai mare parte, construite de la zero. Mai exact, schițele de programe sunt construite, obiectivele sunt stabilite și metodele sunt selectate, dar conținutul depinde de nevoile, interesele, dorințele, aspirațiile cursanților. Ele depind de timpul, de spațiul și de mediul cultural. Dar ar trebui, deopotrivă, să existe un set de obiective, mai mult sau mai puțin evidente, centrate pe conținuturi care să le permită cursantelor vârstnice să țină seama de propriile valori și de capitalul de gen, pe care le aduc în procesul de educație. Pentru a ilustra acest punct, într-un grup de cursanți englezi, rolurile de bunici au fost discutate pornind de la o compilație de informații extrase din cercetări. Bunicile au descoperit că trebuie să-și pună sănătatea pe primul plan pentru a nu suferi de sindromul bur-out al bunicilor. Grupul a discutat, de asemenea, povestea Rosei Luxembourg în comparație cu feministele slovene, Danica și Angela Vode. Alte teme incluse au vizat relațiile din familie după pensionare și prejudecățile privind femeile vârstnice. Grupul a vizitat Centrul de Studii pentru Femei din Zagreb și a dezbătut mișcarea „Me Too”. Programa a conținut, deopotrivă, spectacolul „Oldies”, o piesă de teatru slovenă, în care au jucat persoane vârstnice ce nu sunt actori profesioniști, urmat de o discuție critică. Au fost identificate declarațiile jignitoare ale unor politicieni la adresa femeilor și au fost formulate reacții într-o scrisoare colectivă destinată editorului unei reviste. Au fost identificate de către cursanți și discutate apoi stereotipurile despre femeile vârstnice.

 

Cum se concepe un program de educație pentru adulți vârstnici

 

Planificarea implementării și programarea conținutului unui program educațional sunt aspecte necesare pentru a obține coerență între diferitele elemente ale programului. 

(1) În trecut, programarea a fost considerată ca o anticipare a măsurilor necesare a fi luate pentru atingere scopurilor; principala strategie de programare era orientată spre obiective. 

(2) A început o discuție cu participanții cu privire la modul de adaptare a obiectivelor la nevoile lor. Atâta timp cât doar obiectivele erau importante, structura programelor de educație a adulților era clară. 

(3) Mai târziu, a început să aibă loc adaptarea obiectivelor și găsirea echilibrului între seturi de nevoi adesea diametral opuse. 

(4) În trecut, accentul a fost pus pe conținutul și metodele structurate. 

(5) În prezent, accentul a fost mutat pe identificarea nevoilor. 

(6) Un program educațional pentru adulții vârstnici și femeile vârstnice este înțeles ca un proces dinamic care gestionează cunoștințe și abilități, desigur, dar și valori, atitudini față de învățare, impactul circumstanțelor sociale și culturale.

 

Programarea conținuturilor și planificarea livrării nu este un proces liniar, bazat pe o singură metodologie. Dimpotrivă, programarea conținuturilor și planificarea furnizării unui program educațional pentru adulții vârstnici este mai degrabă un proces creativ, inovator (în care învățarea prin încercare și eroare este prezentă). Se utilizează diferite metode, modele și abordări.

Drakulič, S. (2018). Nevidljiva žena i druge priče. Zagreb: Fraktura.

 

Gros, F. (2014). A Philosophy of Walking

 

Hugo, J. M. (1990). Adult education history and the issue of gender: Toward a different history of adult education in America. Adult Education Quarterly 41, 1–16.

 

Johnson-Bailey, J., Cervero, R. (1996). An analysis of the educational narratives of re-entry Black women. Adult Education Quarterly 46(3), 142–157.

 

Kant, I. (2011). Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysics of Morals. Digireads.com Publishing.

 

Lewis, L., ed. (1988). Special Issue: Addressing the Needs of Returning Women. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. No. 39. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

Rubenson, K., ed. (2011). Adult Learning and Education. Oxford: Elsevier.

Activitate

Elvira Kralj
1900 – 1978

Too nice to be remembered?
Elvira Kralj was a Slovenian actress born in Trieste (then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire). She was born into a family that was politically engaged in defending the Slovenian national cause. The whole family was related to Sokol, a left-wing association addressing physical culture. Elvira was a member of several associations embracing different social causes though not the women’s cause specifically.

She started acting at the age of five when she played Cinderella on a stage in Trieste. After completing her studies in the local German Elementary School and two years of studies at the German Higher Trade School for Girls – boys and girls attended different schools, she started working in a law firm in Trieste. Later she graduated from a Drama school. She embodied more than 200 roles in the Maribor Theatre, and began working in the Ljubljana’s Drama, the national theatre. She convincingly portrayed a multitude of different female characters, from a kind grandmother, a nice aunt, a suffering mother, a tough woman, to evil, ironic characters on the theatre stage, TV and film screen. Her most visible role was that of the kind, loving and caring aunt (typically accepted female characteristics) in the iconic film Do Not Wait for May. Why was Elvira belittled? Despite her many roles for which she was casted...
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Elvira Kralj
1900 – 1978

Too nice to be remembered?
Elvira Kralj was a Slovenian actress born in Trieste (then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire). She was born into a family that was politically engaged in defending the Slovenian national cause. The whole family was related to Sokol, a left-wing association addressing physical culture. Elvira was a member of several associations embracing different social causes though not the women’s cause specifically.

She started acting at the age of five when she played Cinderella on a stage in Trieste. After completing her studies in the local German Elementary School and two years of studies at the German Higher Trade School for Girls – boys and girls attended different schools, she started working in a law firm in Trieste. Later she graduated from a Drama...
continue reading

Elvira Kralj
1900 – 1978

Too nice to be remembered?
Elvira Kralj was a Slovenian actress born in Trieste (then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire). She was born into a family that was politically engaged in defending the Slovenian national cause. The whole family was related to Sokol, a left-wing association addressing physical culture. Elvira was a member of several...
continue reading

Marie-Claire Chevalier
1955 – 2022

The one whose trial for illegal abortion changed the law against abortion in France
In 1971, Marie-Claire Chevalier was 16 years old when she became pregnant after being raped by a boy two years older than her in high school. The young woman asked her mother to help her have an abortion. The mother turned to an underground doctor, but her daughter suffered a hemorrhage that forced her to go the hospital. Her rapist, arrested for stealing a car, decided to turn her in against his own freedom. She was directly accused, as were four other women, including her mother, because in 1971 the voluntary termination of a pregnancy was illegal in France and punishable by six months to two years in prison. She was then convicted at the Bobigny trial and all were defended by lawyer Gisèle Halimi.

Gisèle Halimi made this trial and Marie-Claire Chevalier a political symbol for the right to abortion. The case will forever mark French history and symbolize real progress for women’s rights. Extremely mediatized, the trial closely followed by many personalities ended with a brilliant victory. Three years later with this judgement, things started to move. This event contributed to the adoption of the Veil law and the legalization of abortion in France in 1975.
continue reading

Marie-Claire Chevalier
1955 – 2022

The one whose trial for illegal abortion changed the law against abortion in France
In 1971, Marie-Claire Chevalier was 16 years old when she became pregnant after being raped by a boy two years older than her in high school. The young woman asked her mother to help her have an abortion. The mother turned to an underground doctor, but her daughter suffered a hemorrhage that forced her to go the hospital. Her rapist, arrested for stealing a car, decided to turn her in against his own freedom. She was directly accused, as were four other women, including her mother, because in 1971 the voluntary termination of a pregnancy was illegal in France and punishable by six months to two years in prison. She was then convicted at the Bobigny trial and all were defended by lawyer Gisèle Halimi.

Gisèle Halimi made this trial and Marie-Claire Chevalier a political symbol for the right to abortion. The case will forever mark French history and symbolize real progress for women’s rights. Extremely mediatized, the trial closely followed by many personalities ended with a brilliant victory. Three years later with this judgement, things started to move. This event contributed to the adoption of the Veil law and the legalization of abortion in France in 1975.
continue reading

Marie-Claire Chevalier
1955 – 2022

The one whose trial for illegal abortion changed the law against abortion in France
In 1971, Marie-Claire Chevalier was 16 years old when she became pregnant after being raped by a boy two years older than her in high school. The young woman asked her mother to help her have an abortion. The mother turned to an underground doctor, but her daughter suffered a hemorrhage that forced her to go the hospital. Her rapist, arrested for stealing a car, decided to turn her in against his own freedom. She was directly accused, as were four other women, including her mother, because in 1971 the voluntary termination of a pregnancy was illegal in France and punishable by six months to two...
continue reading

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very talented and ready to share her ideas and stories with the world. But, that´s where she bumped into a big obstacle. At the beginning of the XX century being a female writer was seen as immoral work, especially for an educator. If she had risked meeting her goals, she could have lost her teaching job. She found a solution to this problem in her marriage by publishing her works under her husband's name. So, she was writing and waiting at home and he was the one receiving praise and applause at the premiers of the plays. Before dying, her husband confirmed the rumours circulating in theatre circles that she was the true author of his works.
continue reading

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very talented and ready to share her ideas and stories with the world. But, that´s where she bumped into a big obstacle. At the beginning of the XX century being a female writer was seen as immoral work, especially for an educator. If she had risked meeting her goals, she could have lost her teaching job. She found a solution to this problem in her marriage by publishing her works under her husband's name. So, she was writing and waiting at home and he was the one receiving praise and applause at the premiers of the plays. Before dying, her husband confirmed the rumours circulating in theatre circles that she was the true author of his works.
continue reading

Maria Lejárraga
1874 – 1974

She was writing and her husband harvesting the glory, fame and money!
Writer, feminist, deputy, polyglot and socialist who opposed to the death penalty and legal prostitution. She advocated for education, work and equal rights for women in Spain. A very open-minded and visionary woman who had to pay a high price imposed by her gender.

María Lejárraga comes from the region of La Rioja from an economically stable middle class family. She was able to receive good education and became a teacher. During her teaching career she discovered her passion for writing. She was very...
continue reading

María Bernaldo de Quirós
1898 – 1983

As public opinion evolves, people will realize that women can do more than just embroidery.
María de la Salud Bernaldo de Quirós y Bustillo was the first Spanish woman to obtain a pilot's license and to take advantage of the Divorce Law of the Republic.

She came from an aristocratic family and received a good education, but was attracted to aviation at a young age. She was married twice, the first marriage being a real tragedy (she lost her husband and 2 children). During her second marriage, thanks to her friendships in aviation circles, she decided to follow her vocation and started training.

When María enrolled in the Spanish Royal Air Club, she was the only woman out of eighteen students. Her instructor claimed that women lacked the spirit of sacrifice necessary for flying, but he considered María an exceptional student. By the time she received her license, she had already separated from her husband. She was also one of the first women to take advantage of the Divorce Law of the second Republic. Once she had the license...
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María Bernaldo de Quirós
1898 – 1983

As public opinion evolves, people will realize that women can do more than just embroidery.
María de la Salud Bernaldo de Quirós y Bustillo was the first Spanish woman to obtain a pilot's license and to take advantage of the Divorce Law of the Republic.

She came from an aristocratic family and received a good education, but was attracted to aviation at a young age. She was married twice, the first marriage being a real tragedy (she lost her husband and 2 children). During her second marriage, thanks to her friendships in aviation circles, she decided to follow her vocation and started training.

When María enrolled in the Spanish Royal Air Club, she was the only woman out of eighteen students. Her instructor claimed that women lacked the spirit of sacrifice necessary for flying, but he considered María an exceptional student. By the time she received her license, she had already separated from her husband. She was also one of the first women to take advantage of the Divorce Law of the second Republic. Once she had the license...
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María Bernaldo de Quirós
1898 – 1983

As public opinion evolves, people will realize that women can do more than just embroidery.
María de la Salud Bernaldo de Quirós y Bustillo was the first Spanish woman to obtain a pilot's license and to take advantage of the Divorce Law of the Republic.

She came from an aristocratic family and received a good education, but was attracted to aviation at a young age. She was married twice, the first marriage being a real tragedy (she lost her husband and 2 children). During her second marriage, thanks to her friendships in aviation circles, she decided to follow her vocation and started training...
continue reading

María Goyri
1873 – 1954

The fact that she was a woman put her in the shadow of the famous man - her husband.
Researcher, philologist, educator, writer and active advocate of women’s rights. She is the first woman to graduate from a Spanish university with a degree in philosophy and writing. Her studies on Spanish ballads, carried out with her husband Ramón Menéndez Pidal, laid the foundations for research in the field, although only her husband’s name became known. She was also one of the first women to go to a gym to fight the arthritis she suffered from at a young age, a very unusual activity for a girl at that time.

Maria Goyri was born in Madrid and raised by her mother who made sure that her daughter received a very well planned and organised education at home. She continued her formal education and received the titles of Governess and Professor of Commerce as well as the title of a teacher. First, she attended the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters without enrolling, and a year later applied for permission to open a women’s study programme. The authorization was granted, but on the condition that she wouldn’t communicate with male students, enter the classroom next to the professor, and sit in a separate chair next to him during class. She was the first official female student...
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María Goyri
1873 – 1954

The fact that she was a woman put her in the shadow of the famous man - her husband.
Researcher, philologist, educator, writer and active advocate of women’s rights. She is the first woman to graduate from a Spanish university with a degree in philosophy and writing. Her studies on Spanish ballads, carried out with her husband Ramón Menéndez Pidal, laid the foundations for research in the field, although only her husband’s name became known. She was also one of the first women to go to a gym to fight the arthritis she suffered from at a young age, a very unusual activity for a girl at that time.

Maria Goyri was born in Madrid and raised by her mother who made sure that her daughter received a very well planned and organised education at home. She continued her formal education and received the titles of Governess and Professor of Commerce as well as the title of a teacher. First, she attended the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters without enrolling, and a year later applied for permission to open a women’s study programme. The authorization was granted...
continue reading

María Goyri
1873 – 1954

The fact that she was a woman put her in the shadow of the famous man - her husband.
Researcher, philologist, educator, writer and active advocate of women’s rights. She is the first woman to graduate from a Spanish university with a degree in philosophy and writing. Her studies on Spanish ballads, carried out with her husband Ramón Menéndez Pidal, laid the foundations for research in the field, although only her husband’s name became known. She was also one of the first women to go to a gym to fight the arthritis she suffered from at a young age, a very...
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Elisabeta Rizea
1912 – 2003

Despite suffering severe torture, she kept defending her beliefs and supported a group of anti-communist partisans.
Elisabeta was born into a family of peasants (Șuța) in a village in Southern Romania – Domnești, Argeș county. She got married at 19 years old and took the last name of her husband, Gheorghe Rizea.

She was set on track for an ordinary country life, but little did she know that the end of World War II would mean the beginning of her own war with the communist authorities, imposed by the Soviet army during that time. Her uncle, a local leader of the National Peasants’ Party, was killed by the secret police, which led her husband to join an anti-communist guerilla group, led by Colonel Gheorghe Arsenescu. Thus, Elisabeta became an informant and supplies provider for the group.
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Elisabeta Rizea
1912 – 2003

Despite suffering severe torture, she kept defending her beliefs and supported a group of anti-communist partisans.
Elisabeta was born into a family of peasants (Șuța) in a village in Southern Romania – Domnești, Argeș county. She got married at 19 years old and took the last name of her husband, Gheorghe Rizea.

She was set on track for an ordinary country life, but little did she know that the end of World War II would mean the beginning of her own war with the communist authorities, imposed by the Soviet army during that time. Her uncle, a local leader of the National Peasants’ Party, was killed by the secret police, which led her husband to join an anti-communist guerilla group, led by Colonel Gheorghe Arsenescu. Thus, Elisabeta became an informant and supplies provider for the group.
continue reading

Elisabeta Rizea
1912 – 2003

Despite suffering severe torture, she kept defending her beliefs and supported a group of anti-communist partisans.
Elisabeta was born into a family of peasants (Șuța) in a village in Southern Romania – Domnești, Argeș county. She got married at 19 years old and took the last name of her husband, Gheorghe Rizea.

She was set on track for an ordinary country life, but little did she know that the end of World War II would mean the beginning of her own war with the communist authorities, imposed by the Soviet army during that time. Her uncle, a local leader of the National Peasants’ Party, was killed by...
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Florica Bagdasar
1901 – 1978

A doctor, a politician, the first female minister in Romania, a person who led to change everywhere she had been.
Florica Bagdasar, maiden name Ciumetti, was born in Monastir, now Macedonian territory, in a Macedo-Romanian family – Romanians originating from the South of Danube. Because of World War I, the family was forced to move a lot and after attending different secondary schools, she finally graduated in 1925 from the Medicine Faculty in Bucharest.

In 1927 she married a fellow doctor, Dumitru Bagdasar, with whom she soon left to study in the United States, at Harvard University. While there she received a Rockefeller scholarship and specialized in neurosurgery. After their return to Romania, they opened a neurosurgery clinic in Bucharest, which they managed as a team. Further down her professional road, she chose to specialize in infantile neuropsychiatry – a specialty that she would also promote during her teaching position – and elaborated several educational materials for children.
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Florica Bagdasar
1901 – 1978

A doctor, a politician, the first female minister in Romania, a person who led to change everywhere she had been.
Florica Bagdasar, maiden name Ciumetti, was born in Monastir, now Macedonian territory, in a Macedo-Romanian family – Romanians originating from the South of Danube. Because of World War I, the family was forced to move a lot and after attending different secondary schools, she finally graduated in 1925 from the Medicine Faculty in Bucharest.

In 1927 she married a fellow doctor, Dumitru Bagdasar, with whom she soon left to study in the United States, at Harvard University. While there she received a Rockefeller scholarship and specialized in neurosurgery. After their return to Romania, they opened a neurosurgery clinic in Bucharest, which they managed as a team. Further down her professional road, she chose to specialize in infantile neuropsychiatry – a specialty that she would also promote during her teaching position – and elaborated several educational materials for children.
continue reading

Florica Bagdasar
1901 – 1978

A doctor, a politician, the first female minister in Romania, a person who led to change everywhere she had been.
Florica Bagdasar, maiden name Ciumetti, was born in Monastir, now Macedonian territory, in a Macedo-Romanian family – Romanians originating from the South of Danube. Because of World War I, the family was forced to move a lot and after attending different secondary schools, she finally graduated in 1925 from the Medicine Faculty in Bucharest.

In 1927 she married a fellow doctor, Dumitru Bagdasar, with whom she soon left to study in the United States, at Harvard University. While there she received a Rockefeller scholarship and specialized in...
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Dimitrana Ivanova
1881 – 1960

If you want to know what perseverance looks like, read her story.
Dimitrana Ivanova, maiden name Petrova, was the daughter of a craftsman and trader and of a priest’s daughter. She was born in Rousse, a big city in Bulgaria at the time, and she graduated the high school for girls there. She married Doncho Ivanov in 1914, thus becoming Dimitrana Ivanova.

Because at the time the high school for girls had one grade less than the boys, this would serve as a pretext to deny women access to higher education at the Bulgarian University in Sofia, so Dimitrana had no other choice but to enroll in a foreign university, Zurich University in Switzerland, where she took pedagogy and philosophy classes. Due to several family tragedies and her family’s bankruptcy, she had to return home before her final exam and could not get back to take it, so she did not graduate. She was forced to seek employment and she became a teacher, passing all the legally required exams to become one. As a teacher, Dimitrana’s career was often affected by several discriminatory laws (married women were not allowed to work; later they were permitted to work after getting married, but they had to accept a reduced salary; female teachers had to retire by the age of 40 and the number of female teachers in a certain district could not exceed the number of male teachers).
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Dimitrana Ivanova
1881 – 1960

If you want to know what perseverance looks like, read her story.
Dimitrana Ivanova, maiden name Petrova, was the daughter of a craftsman and trader and of a priest’s daughter. She was born in Rousse, a big city in Bulgaria at the time, and she graduated the high school for girls there. She married Doncho Ivanov in 1914, thus becoming Dimitrana Ivanova.

Because at the time the high school for girls had one grade less than the boys, this would serve as a pretext to deny women access to higher education at the Bulgarian University in Sofia, so Dimitrana had no other choice but to enroll in a foreign university, Zurich University in Switzerland, where she took pedagogy and philosophy classes. Due to several family tragedies and her family’s bankruptcy, she had to return home before her final exam and could not get back to take it, so she did not graduate. She was forced to seek employment and she became a teacher, passing all the legally required exams to become one. As a teacher, Dimitrana’s career was often affected by several discriminatory laws...
continue reading

Dimitrana Ivanova
1881 – 1960

If you want to know what perseverance looks like, read her story.
Dimitrana Ivanova, maiden name Petrova, was the daughter of a craftsman and trader and of a priest’s daughter. She was born in Rousse, a big city in Bulgaria at the time, and she graduated the high school for girls there. She married Doncho Ivanov in 1914, thus becoming Dimitrana Ivanova.

Because at the time the high school for girls had one grade less than the boys, this would serve as a pretext to deny women access to higher education at the Bulgarian University in Sofia, so Dimitrana had no other choice but to enroll in a foreign university, Zurich...
continue reading

Thérèse Clerc
1927-2016

Activist for the rights of elderly women, the third wave of feminism
Thérèse Clerc, was a French feminist activist, born on December 9, 1927 in Paris and died on February 16, 2016 in Montreuil, who worked to defend the rights of women, and more specifically those of older women.

At the age of 20, she learned the fashion design profession and married a small entrepreneur who owned an industrial cleaning business. At the turn of May 1968, she advocated for free abortion and contraception within the MLAC movement (Movement for Free Abortion and Contraception). A year later, in 1969, she divorced her husband and bought an apartment in Montreuil, where she performed abortions for free.

Always with the aim of helping women, in 2000, she founded in Montreuil the “House of Women” open to women of all ages, victims of violence, in insertion or reinsertion. Then, in the same year, still in Montreuil, she wanted to found the “House of Babayagas”, an “anti-retirement house” self-managed by the residents, elderly and low-income, around the values of citizenship, secularism, solidarity, ecology and feminism. But she faced some discrimination because...
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Thérèse Clerc
1927-2016

Activist for the rights of elderly women, the third wave of feminism
Thérèse Clerc, was a French feminist activist, born on December 9, 1927 in Paris and died on February 16, 2016 in Montreuil, who worked to defend the rights of women, and more specifically those of older women.

At the age of 20, she learned the fashion design profession and married a small entrepreneur who owned an industrial cleaning business. At the turn of May 1968, she advocated for free abortion and contraception within the MLAC movement (Movement for Free Abortion and Contraception). A year later, in 1969, she divorced her husband and bought an apartment in Montreuil, where she performed abortions for free.

Always with the aim of helping women, in 2000, she founded in Montreuil the “House of Women” open to women of all ages, victims of violence, in insertion or reinsertion. Then, in the same year, still in Montreuil, she...
continue reading

Thérèse Clerc
1927-2016

Activist for the rights of elderly women, the third wave of feminism
Thérèse Clerc, was a French feminist activist, born on December 9, 1927 in Paris and died on February 16, 2016 in Montreuil, who worked to defend the rights of women, and more specifically those of older women.

At the age of 20, she learned the fashion design profession and married a small entrepreneur who owned an industrial cleaning business. At the turn of May 1968, she advocated for free abortion and contraception within the MLAC movement (Movement for...
continue reading

Rosalind Franklin
1920 – 1958

British biologist and DNA pioneer
On October 18, 1962, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three men, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. However, this discovery was made possible by the research of Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist and pioneer of molecular biology, who formulated the DNA helical structure in an unpublished report.

In 1951, Rosalind Franklin took up a post at King’s College London and worked on the structure of DNA in collaboration with the physicist Maurice Wilkins. Through her research, she was the first to demonstrate the double helix structure of DNA...
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Rosalind Franklin
1920 – 1958

British biologist and DNA pioneer
On October 18, 1962, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three men, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. However, this discovery was made possible by the research of Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist and pioneer of molecular biology, who formulated the DNA helical structure in an unpublished report.

In 1951, Rosalind Franklin took up a post at King’s College London and worked on the structure of DNA in collaboration with the physicist Maurice Wilkins. Through her research, she was the first to demonstrate the double helix structure of DNA...
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Rosalind Franklin
1920 – 1958

British biologist and DNA pioneer
On October 18, 1962, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three men, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. However, this discovery was made possible by the research of Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist and pioneer of molecular biology, who formulated the DNA helical structure in an unpublished report.

In 1951, Rosalind Franklin took up a post at King’s College London and worked on the structure of DNA in collaboration with...
continue reading

Franca Rame
1929 – 2013

Actress, writer and activist for the rights of women to be seen and respected
Franca was from Villastanza, Milan, born in a family with ancient theatrical traditions, mostly related to puppet and marionette theater, dating back to the 1600s: her father was an actor and her mother was first a teacher, then an actress. On June 24, 1954, she married actor Dario Fo. From their union on March 31, 1955, their son Jacopo was born in Rome. The Fo-Rame artistic partnership lasted for more than fifty years, with hundreds of shows in different genres: farce and commedia dell’arte (including “Isabella, tre caravelle e un cacciaballe”, from 1963, in which for the first time the protagonist was a “giullaressa” a typical male figure (giullare, in english jester) played by a woman and feminized in its name); political theater (including “Bandiere rosse a Mirafiori – basta con i fascisti!” by Fo, Rame and Lanfranco Binni, 1973); civil and social theater, including “Lo stupro” (the rape), which is the most dramatic demonstration of how theater was for her the way to transform experience. The monologue evokes in a dry style the violence the artist suffered in 1973 by five neo-fascists in Milan, who would be convicted many years later. The Fo-Rame pair had become a political target, but her especially as a woman. Over the years, the shows have brought the news of the moment more and more directly to the stage, addressing social, historical and political issues including the status of women, the status of working mothers, divorce, abortion, sexual violence, drug abuse, the condition of prisoners in jail, fascism and the Resistance. In 1969, Soccorso Rosso, a movement...
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Franca Rame
1929 – 2013

Actress, writer and activist for the rights of women to be seen and respected
Franca was from Villastanza, Milan, born in a family with ancient theatrical traditions, mostly related to puppet and marionette theater, dating back to the 1600s: her father was an actor and her mother was first a teacher, then an actress. On June 24, 1954, she married actor Dario Fo. From their union on March 31, 1955, their son Jacopo was born in Rome. The Fo-Rame artistic partnership lasted for more than fifty years, with hundreds of shows in different genres: farce and commedia dell’arte (including “Isabella, tre caravelle e un cacciaballe”, from 1963, in which for the first time the protagonist was a “giullaressa” a typical male figure (giullare, in english jester) played by a woman and feminized in its name); political theater (including “Bandiere rosse a Mirafiori – basta con i fascisti!” by Fo, Rame and Lanfranco Binni, 1973); civil and social theater, including “Lo stupro” (the rape), which is the most dramatic demonstration of how theater was for her the way to transform experience. The monologue evokes in a dry style the violence the artist suffered in 1973 by five neo-fascists in Milan, who would be...
continue reading

Franca Rame
1929 – 2013

Actress, writer and activist for the rights of women to be seen and respected
Franca was from Villastanza, Milan, born in a family with ancient theatrical traditions, mostly related to puppet and marionette theater, dating back to the 1600s: her father was an actor and her mother was first a teacher, then an actress. On June 24, 1954, she married actor Dario Fo. From their union on March 31, 1955, their son Jacopo was born in Rome. The Fo-Rame artistic partnership lasted for more than fifty years, with hundreds of shows in different genres: farce and commedia dell’arte (including “Isabella, tre caravelle e un cacciaballe”, from 1963...
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Karla Bulovec Mrak
1895 – 1957

She was trying hard to get out of the cage
KARLA BULOVEC MRAK was a Slovenian sculptor, painter and writer who lived in three successive States that existed on the same territory. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Karla was a stubborn and rebellious person which caused her many problems and regardless of the State, she was always marginalized. She was well educated but decided to be, not a teacher, but a (female) sculptor which was not in conformity with social expectations. In 1917 she left the cage of the small provincial city of Ljubljana, and went to Munich, Vienna, Prague and Paris, where she felt relatively freed of social chains. She participated in joint exhibitions with famous Slovenian and European artists in different European countries. Her independent exhibitions, however, were sharply criticized.

She was looked down on because she was poor most of her life and did not conform with social norms. Still, present-day texts about her and her work start with “Karla Bulovec was married to Ivan Mrak”. Likewise in France the socially disturbing Simone de Beauvoir was often referred to as Jean Paul Sartre’s companion, Karla was not referred to by name. Her husband accepted her otherness and understood her, but he himself was...
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Karla Bulovec Mrak
1895 – 1957

She was trying hard to get out of the cage
KARLA BULOVEC MRAK was a Slovenian sculptor, painter and writer who lived in three successive States that existed on the same territory. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Karla was a stubborn and rebellious person which caused her many problems and regardless of the State, she was always marginalized. She was well educated but decided to be, not a teacher, but a (female) sculptor which was not in conformity with social expectations. In 1917 she left the cage of the small provincial city of Ljubljana, and went to Munich, Vienna, Prague and Paris, where she felt relatively freed of social chains. She participated in joint exhibitions with famous Slovenian and European artists in different European countries. Her independent exhibitions, however, were sharply criticized.

She was looked down on because she was poor most of her life and did not conform with social norms. Still, present-day texts about her and her work start with “Karla Bulovec was married to Ivan Mrak”. Likewise in France the socially disturbing...
continue reading

Karla Bulovec Mrak
1895 – 1957

She was trying hard to get out of the cage
KARLA BULOVEC MRAK was a Slovenian sculptor, painter and writer who lived in three successive States that existed on the same territory. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Karla was a stubborn and rebellious person which caused her many problems and regardless of the State, she was always marginalized. She was well educated but decided to be, not a teacher, but a (female) sculptor which was not in conformity with social expectations. In 1917 she left the cage of the small provincial city of Ljubljana, and went to Munich, Vienna, Prague and Paris...
continue reading

Anna Kuliscioff
1855 – 1925

I hope, for the triumph of the cause of my sex, just a little more solidarity among women
Anna Kuliscioff, protagonist of Italian socialism and feminism, born in 1854 in Moskaja into a wealthy family of Jewish merchants, was encouraged to cultivate her studies with private teachers and became interested in politics at a very early age. In 1871 she moved to Zurich as women were forbidden to enter the University in Russia. In 1873 Russian students were ordered to leave the University of Zurich otherwise they wouldn’t have been admitted to the final examination in Russia. This was a provocation to women as they were accused of going abroad not for study reasons but for sexual leisure. In 1888, in Italy, Anna continued her studies specializing in gynecology, first in Turin, then in Padua. She first found out about the bacterial origin of puerperal fever saving millions of women from death after childbirth. She then began to practice medicine in Milan, travelling to the city’s poorest neighborhoods. She was called the “doctor of the poor.” She was never recognized as a doctor and this was mainly caused by her social and political position. In Milan she came in contact with exponents of feminism who in 1882 had formed the League for Women’s Interests. From here on, Anna’s commitment to the women’s question became increasingly clear and pressing, culminating in her speech at the Milan Philological Circle in April 1890: The Monopoly of Man. The innovative aspect of Anna Kuliscioff’s intervention, however, lies in the way she conceived gender equality:”It is not a condemnation at any cost of the other sex that women demand; on the contrary, they aspire to obtain the conscious and active cooperation of the best men, of those who, having emancipated themselves, at least in part, from sentiments based on customs, prejudices...
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Anna Kuliscioff
1855 – 1925

I hope, for the triumph of the cause of my sex, just a little more solidarity among women
Anna Kuliscioff, protagonist of Italian socialism and feminism, born in 1854 in Moskaja into a wealthy family of Jewish merchants, was encouraged to cultivate her studies with private teachers and became interested in politics at a very early age. In 1871 she moved to Zurich as women were forbidden to enter the University in Russia. In 1873 Russian students were ordered to leave the University of Zurich otherwise they wouldn’t have been admitted to the final examination in Russia. This was a provocation to women as they were accused of going abroad not for study reasons but for sexual leisure. In 1888, in Italy, Anna continued her studies specializing in gynecology, first in Turin, then in Padua. She first found out about the bacterial origin of puerperal fever saving millions of women from death after childbirth. She then began to practice medicine in Milan, travelling to the city’s poorest neighborhoods. She was called the “doctor of the poor.” She was never recognized as a doctor and this was mainly caused by her...
continue reading

Anna Kuliscioff
1855 – 1925

I hope, for the triumph of the cause of my sex, just a little more solidarity among women
Anna Kuliscioff, protagonist of Italian socialism and feminism, born in 1854 in Moskaja into a wealthy family of Jewish merchants, was encouraged to cultivate her studies with private teachers and became interested in politics at a very early age. In 1871 she moved to Zurich as women were forbidden to enter the University in Russia. In 1873 Russian students were...
continue reading

Ondina Peteani
1925 – 2003

It's nice to live free
Ondina Peteani is now considered the “first” partisan relay girl but it took years of constant work after her death, to bring her story to light.

Her son Giovanni tells of how she managed to escape from the Ravensbrück concentration camp, during a prisoner march. It was not the first time she had escaped: she had gotten away with it twice before arriving in Germany. Her story would be very adventurous as it is at this point. But Ondina never let nightmare No. 81627 (her code in Auschwitz), get in the way of her plans, her brilliant idea of life. After the war she chose to be a midwife. Together with her partner Gian Luigi Brusadin, a journalist for the “Unità,” she organized the first agency of Editori Riuniti, a lively place where people could meet and talk about politics. Then Ondina created summer camps for children and organized a tent city in Maiano after the Friuli earthquake (1976). And finally as a “gray panther” with her commitment in the CGIL trade union for retired people, she invoked without mincing words that “only a pact between generations can avoid isolation and injustice”. Her son continues bringing her experience to schools highlighting how fundamental the contribution and support of the Women’s Contingent was to the National Liberation Struggle. Their presenc...
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Ondina Peteani
1925 – 2003

It's nice to live free
Ondina Peteani is now considered the “first” partisan relay girl but it took years of constant work after her death, to bring her story to light.

Her son Giovanni tells of how she managed to escape from the Ravensbrück concentration camp, during a prisoner march. It was not the first time she had escaped: she had gotten away with it twice before arriving in Germany. Her story would be very adventurous as it is at this point. But Ondina never let nightmare No. 81627 (her code in Auschwitz), get in the way of her plans, her brilliant idea of life. After the war she chose to be a midwife. Together with her partner Gian Luigi Brusadin, a journalist for the “Unità,” she organized the first agency of Editori Riuniti, a lively place where people could meet and talk about politics. Then Ondina created summer camps for children and organized a tent city in Maiano after the Friuli earthquake (1976). And finally as a “gray panther” with her commitment in the CGIL trade...
continue reading

Ondina Peteani
1925 – 2003

It's nice to live free
Ondina Peteani is now considered the “first” partisan relay girl but it took years of constant work after her death, to bring her story to light.

Her son Giovanni tells of how she managed to escape from the Ravensbrück concentration camp, during a prisoner march. It was not the first time she had escaped: she had gotten away with it twice before arriving in Germany. Her story would be very adventurous as it is at this point. But Ondina never let nightmare No. 81627 (her code in Auschwitz), get in the way...
continue reading

Marion Dönhoff
1909 – 2002

"I always wished I could see a day when we could come together on one side of the dividing river to exchange ideas, then cross the bridge together and continue on the other side."
Marion Countess Dönhoff was one of the most influential journalists of post-war Germany and editor of the prestigious weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT for 30 years. The highly educated noble woman fled east Prussia during the Russian invasion in 1945 – on horseback. Previously she had been managing the family estate for several years after returning from extensive travels through Europe, Africa, and America. Even though she had lost her beloved East Prussian homeland, she promoted the thought of “loving without possessing” rather than advocating the reclaiming of those territories. In her lifetime, she actively worked for reconciliation between the states of the Eastern Bloc and the West, supported West Germany’s active policy toward East Germany, rejected apartheid in South Africa, and continuously called for liberal thinking, tolerance, and justice in her writing. Marion Dönhoff had the ear of leading politicians during her day, among them Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Richard von Weizsäcker. She not only overcame the challenges of being a refugee, losing many of her inherited privileges and her home, she also defied the restrictive female gender roles of her time, when most women were expected to be well-behaved wives and mothers and leave decision making to men. Not only did she have a voice as a leading intellectual with political influence, she also never married and was famous...
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Marion Dönhoff
1909 – 2002

"I always wished I could see a day when we could come together on one side of the dividing river to exchange ideas, then cross the bridge together and continue on the other side."
Marion Countess Dönhoff was one of the most influential journalists of post-war Germany and editor of the prestigious weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT for 30 years. The highly educated noble woman fled east Prussia during the Russian invasion in 1945 – on horseback. Previously she had been managing the family estate for several years after returning from extensive travels through Europe, Africa, and America. Even though she had lost her beloved East Prussian homeland, she promoted the thought of “loving without possessing” rather than advocating the reclaiming of those territories. In her lifetime, she actively worked for reconciliation between the states of the Eastern Bloc and the West, supported West Germany’s active policy toward East Germany, rejected apartheid in South Africa, and continuously called for liberal thinking, tolerance, and justice in her writing. Marion Dönhoff had the ear of leading politicians during her day, among them Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Richard von Weizsäcker. She not only overcame the challenges of being a refugee, losing many...
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Marion Dönhoff
1909 – 2002

"I always wished I could see a day when we could come together on one side of the dividing river to exchange ideas"
Marion Countess Dönhoff was one of the most influential journalists of post-war Germany and editor of the prestigious weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT for 30 years. The highly educated noble woman fled east Prussia during the Russian invasion in 1945 – on horseback. Previously she had been managing the family estate for several years after returning from extensive travels through Europe...
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Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
1897 – 2000

Architecture and communism: The inventor of the Frankfurt Kitchen
Magarethe Schütte-Lihotzky was one of the first female architects in Austria. Having grown up in the bourgeois Vienna society, she came into contact with the life realities of the poor working class during her studies. This sparked her interest to improve living conditions through the newly emerging social housing. Her most famous contribution was the “Frankfurt kitchen” (1926) which revolutionized the way kitchens were built. Schütte-Lihotzky designed her modular kitchen with the idea in mind that workflows can be optimized like in a factory in order to make life easier for the women who use it and who would (ideally) have more time for themselves. Politically, she sympathized with communist ideals after being disappointed with the European social democratic parties. In 1930 she is invited to work in Moscow to work in social housing projects. In 1939 she joined the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ). After leaving Russia, she moved to Paris and then to Istanbul, where she became a member of an Austrian resistance group. In 1941 she was arrested shortly after returning to Austria and sent to serve a fifteen-year prison sentence in the women’s penitentiary in Aichach, Bavaria, from which she was liberated by allied troops in April 1945. She worked as a self-employed architect until 1969.
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Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
1897 – 2000

Architecture and communism: The inventor of the Frankfurt Kitchen
Magarethe Schütte-Lihotzky was one of the first female architects in Austria. Having grown up in the bourgeois Vienna society, she came into contact with the life realities of the poor working class during her studies. This sparked her interest to improve living conditions through the newly emerging social housing. Her most famous contribution was the “Frankfurt kitchen” (1926) which revolutionized the way kitchens were built. Schütte-Lihotzky designed her modular kitchen with the idea in mind that workflows can be optimized like in a factory in order to make life easier for the women who use it and who would (ideally) have more time for themselves. Politically, she sympathized with communist ideals after being disappointed with the European social democratic parties. In 1930 she is invited to work in Moscow to work in social housing projects. In 1939 she joined the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ). After leaving Russia, she moved to Paris and then to Istanbul, where she became a member of an Austrian resistance group. In 1941 she was arrested shortly after returning to Austria and sent to serve a fifteen-year prison...
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Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky
1897 – 2000

Architecture and communism: The inventor of the Frankfurt Kitchen
Magarethe Schütte-Lihotzky was one of the first female architects in Austria. Having grown up in the bourgeois Vienna society, she came into contact with the life realities of the poor working class during her studies. This sparked her interest to improve living conditions through the newly emerging social housing. Her most famous contribution was the “Frankfurt kitchen” (1926) which revolutionized the way kitchens were built. Schütte-Lihotzky designed her modular kitchen with the idea in mind that workflows...
continue reading

Gerda Taro
1910 – 1937

Pioneer of war photography
Gerda Taro, maiden name Pohorylle, was born in Stuttgart and educated in Leipzig, Germany. As she was from a Jewish family, she fleed from the Nazis to Paris in 1933. There she lived a bohemian lifestyle with her friend Ruth Cerf and eventually met Endre Ernő Friedmann, better known today as Robert Capa. Together, they started documenting the Spanish Civil War in 1935, after Gerda had invented their alter egos in order to better sell Endre’s and her own pictures. Inspired by their own political convictions, they only took pictures of the fight of the republican soldiers against the rebellious francoist soldiers. Both of them tried to be as close to the action as possible – a goal which eventually led to Gerda’s death. Despite the fact that her pictures only cover 1 year of the war, her pictures are those that went around the world. Together with Robert Capa and with David Seymour, during this short period of time she developed modern war photography as we know it today. Since she officially was Capa’s agent and he sold many of her pictures as his own, it took until the 2000s until people began to recognize her as an artist in her own right rather than just his partner: In 2007, the so-called Mexican Suitcase was found in Mexico City, a suitcase containing thousands of negatives believed to be lost by Capa, Taro and Seymour. Since then, many photographs originally attributed to Capa are known to have been taken by Gerda. However, during her short life, Taro was well known and when she was killed in 1937 by a tank, – she was only 26 – thousands of people attended her funeral in Paris. The funeral procession...
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Gerda Taro
1910 – 1937

Pioneer of war photography
Gerda Taro, maiden name Pohorylle, was born in Stuttgart and educated in Leipzig, Germany. As she was from a Jewish family, she fleed from the Nazis to Paris in 1933. There she lived a bohemian lifestyle with her friend Ruth Cerf and eventually met Endre Ernő Friedmann, better known today as Robert Capa. Together, they started documenting the Spanish Civil War in 1935, after Gerda had invented their alter egos in order to better sell Endre’s and her own pictures. Inspired by their own political convictions, they only took pictures of the fight of the republican soldiers against the rebellious francoist soldiers. Both of them tried to be as close to the action as possible – a goal which eventually led to Gerda’s death. Despite the fact that her pictures only cover 1 year of the war, her pictures are those that went around the world. Together with Robert Capa and with David Seymour, during this short period of time she developed modern war photography as we know it today. Since she officially was Capa’s agent and he sold many of her pictures as his own...
continue reading

Gerda Taro
1910 – 1937

Pioneer of war photography
Gerda Taro, maiden name Pohorylle, was born in Stuttgart and educated in Leipzig, Germany. As she was from a Jewish family, she fleed from the Nazis to Paris in 1933. There she lived a bohemian lifestyle with her friend Ruth Cerf and eventually met Endre Ernő Friedmann, better known today as Robert Capa. Together, they started documenting the Spanish Civil War in 1935, after Gerda had invented their alter egos in order to better sell Endre’s and her own pictures. Inspired by their own political convictions, they only took pictures of the fight of the republican...
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Florbela Espanca
1894 – 1930

Rebellious affirmation of a destiny in the feminine
Born in Vila Viçosa on December 8, 1894, from an early age her life was marked by several instabilities, which deeply influenced her literary work. Her life, of only 36 years, victim of suicide, after the diagnosis of a pulmonary edema, was tumultuous, restless and full of intimate sufferings, which the author knew how to transform into poetry of the highest quality, loaded with eroticization and femininity.

In 1919, and among more than 300 students, Florbela was one of 14 women to be accepted at the University of Lisbon Law School. However, the first attempts to promote her poetry failed when she was unsuccessful at attracting the attention of literary critics. Florbela Espanca spent a short stay in Guimarães – in November 1923 – while recovering from a relapse, during which she came into contact with some people from the small community.
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Florbela Espanca
1894 – 1930

Rebellious affirmation of a destiny in the feminine
Born in Vila Viçosa on December 8, 1894, from an early age her life was marked by several instabilities, which deeply influenced her literary work. Her life, of only 36 years, victim of suicide, after the diagnosis of a pulmonary edema, was tumultuous, restless and full of intimate sufferings, which the author knew how to transform into poetry of the highest quality, loaded with eroticization and femininity.

In 1919, and among more than 300 students, Florbela was one of 14 women to be accepted at the University of Lisbon Law School. However, the first attempts to promote her poetry failed when she was unsuccessful at attracting the attention of literary critics. Florbela Espanca spent a short stay in Guimarães – in November 1923 – while recovering from a relapse, during which she came into contact with some people from the small community.
continue reading

Florbela Espanca
1894 – 1930

Rebellious affirmation of a destiny in the feminine
Born in Vila Viçosa on December 8, 1894, from an early age her life was marked by several instabilities, which deeply influenced her literary work. Her life, of only 36 years, victim of suicide, after the diagnosis of a pulmonary edema, was tumultuous, restless and full of intimate sufferings, which the author knew how to transform into poetry of the highest quality, loaded with eroticization and femininity.

In 1919, and among more than 300 students, Florbela was one of 14 women to be accepted at the University of Lisbon Law...
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Maria José Estanco
1905 – 1999

They ironized that the construction would not stand... but the door was left open for future female architects
Born in Loulé, Maria José entered the School of Fine Arts to study painting. For family reasons she interrupted her studies and moved to Brazil for 2 years, where she witnessed the birth of the city of Marília, working with the Belgian engineer who directed the work. Influenced by this experience, when she returned to Lisbon she began studying Architecture, where, in 1942, she received the award for “best student in Architecture”.

Thus emerged the first Portuguese woman architect. However, despite being considered the best student, she couldn’t enter the working world because the mentalities of the time couldn’t believe that a woman was capable of making a feasible project. Even in newspapers there were caricatures of her making fun of her professional choice. It was all so difficult that she began to dedicate herself to interior decorating and furniture making. Free of charge, she created a section on these areas in the magazine M&B and taught Drawing and Painting classes at the Linhó Prison. She applied to teach and was a teacher at two High Schools. And at the Odivelas Institute.
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Maria José Estanco
1905 – 1999

They ironized that the construction would not stand... but the door was left open for future female architects
Born in Loulé, Maria José entered the School of Fine Arts to study painting. For family reasons she interrupted her studies and moved to Brazil for 2 years, where she witnessed the birth of the city of Marília, working with the Belgian engineer who directed the work. Influenced by this experience, when she returned to Lisbon she began studying Architecture, where, in 1942, she received the award for “best student in Architecture”.

Thus emerged the first Portuguese woman architect. However, despite being considered the best student, she couldn’t enter the working world because the mentalities of the time couldn’t believe that a woman was capable of making a feasible project. Even in newspapers there were caricatures of her making fun of her professional choice. It was all so difficult that she began to dedicate herself to interior decorating and furniture making. Free of charge, she created a section on these areas in the magazine M&B and taught Drawing and Painting classes at the Linhó...
continue reading

Maria José Estanco
1905 – 1999

They ironized that the construction would not stand... but the door was left open for future female architects
Born in Loulé, Maria José entered the School of Fine Arts to study painting. For family reasons she interrupted her studies and moved to Brazil for 2 years, where she witnessed the birth of the city of Marília, working with the Belgian engineer who directed the work. Influenced by this experience, when she returned to Lisbon she began studying Architecture, where, in 1942, she received the award for “best student in...
continue reading

Maria Isabel Aboim Inglez
1902 – 1963

The indomitable, the woman without fear, a woman of unshakable tenacity, there are several epithets attributed to her and that we revisit today
At the age of 20 she married Carlos Aboim Inglez, whose father had been a minister in the First Republic. Both democrats, their house became a meeting point for political figures. When her husband fell ill with cancer, she decided, with 5 children, to take a degree in Literature. She became a widow at almost 40 years old and had to work hard, because she was persecuted for not being catholic and being anti-fascist. She started her political activity with the Democratic Unity Movement being the first woman to belong to the central commission (1946-1948) and later on, in 1949 in the National Democratic Movement, having an active participation in the presidential elections. Salazar used two forms of repression against her: not only imprisonment, she was arrested 3 times between 1946-1948, preventing her by all means from earning a living. In 1948, she was forbidden to run the women’s college that she had set up with her husband and where she was a teacher, which promoted a secular, progressive and social education, where students from different social strata crossed paths in the same classes. On February 11, 1949, the school was definitively closed, in retaliation for the outstanding role she had been assuming in the opposition to the regime. In the same year she was forbidden from teaching by the government...
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Maria Isabel Aboim Inglez
1902 – 1963

The indomitable, the woman without fear, a woman of unshakable tenacity, there are several epithets attributed to her and that we revisit today
At the age of 20 she married Carlos Aboim Inglez, whose father had been a minister in the First Republic. Both democrats, their house became a meeting point for political figures. When her husband fell ill with cancer, she decided, with 5 children, to take a degree in Literature. She became a widow at almost 40 years old and had to work hard, because she was persecuted for not being catholic and being anti-fascist. She started her political activity with the Democratic Unity Movement being the first woman to belong to the central commission (1946-1948) and later on, in 1949 in the National Democratic Movement, having an active participation in the presidential elections. Salazar used two forms of repression against her: not only imprisonment, she was arrested 3 times between 1946-1948, preventing her by all means from earning a living. In 1948, she was forbidden to run the women’s college that she had set up with her husband and where she was a teacher, which promoted a secular, progressive...
continue reading

Maria Isabel Aboim Inglez
1902 – 1963

The indomitable, the woman without fear, a woman of unshakable tenacity
At the age of 20 she married Carlos Aboim Inglez, whose father had been a minister in the First Republic. Both democrats, their house became a meeting point for political figures. When her husband fell ill with cancer, she decided, with 5 children, to take a degree in Literature. She became a widow at almost 40 years old and had to work hard, because she was persecuted for not being catholic and being anti-fascist. She started her political activity with the Democratic...
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Ilka Burger Vašte
1891 – 1967

Rebellious throughout her life
ILKA BURGER VAŠTE was one of the most prolific Slovenian female writers, a novelist who wrote ten historical novels. She attended a secondary teachers’ college and served as a teacher at the Cyril Method School in Trieste and the Girls’ school in Ljubljana. She embraced the career of a teacher, which was the only convenient profession for women in those days. Women could be either housewives, if they were married, or teachers, if they were single. She was interested in literature and painting, which she learned from Ivana Kobilica, a famous Slovenian female painter. In her novel Mejaši (Neigbours at the border) she revived the national struggle of the Slovenians against the Lombards. She was known for her deep anti-clerical and liberal beliefs. Except for a street in her native Novo mesto named after her, nothing much is known about her and she definitely belongs on the lists of belittled Slovenian female artists.

She wrote: Because I was a shy and obedient little girl, I bitterly mocked courageous women who were fighting for women’s equal rights, but became aware rather soon that I was treated unfairly just because I was a woman. I was in the shadow, because I knew very well that my parents expected me to do so, but at the same time I decided that by my own force I would gain my place in the sunshine”
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Ilka Burger Vašte
1891 – 1967

Rebellious throughout her life
ILKA BURGER VAŠTE was one of the most prolific Slovenian female writers, a novelist who wrote ten historical novels. She attended a secondary teachers’ college and served as a teacher at the Cyril Method School in Trieste and the Girls’ school in Ljubljana. She embraced the career of a teacher, which was the only convenient profession for women in those days. Women could be either housewives, if they were married, or teachers, if they were single. She was interested in literature and painting, which she learned from Ivana Kobilica, a famous Slovenian female painter. In her novel Mejaši (Neigbours at the border) she revived the national struggle of the Slovenians against the Lombards. She was known for her deep anti-clerical and liberal beliefs. Except for a street in her native Novo mesto named after her, nothing much is known about her and she definitely belongs on the lists of belittled Slovenian female artists.

She wrote: Because I was a shy and obedient little girl, I bitterly mocked courageous women who were...
continue reading

Ilka Burger Vašte
1891 – 1967

Rebellious throughout her life
ILKA BURGER VAŠTE was one of the most prolific Slovenian female writers, a novelist who wrote ten historical novels. She attended a secondary teachers’ college and served as a teacher at the Cyril Method School in Trieste and the Girls’ school in Ljubljana. She embraced the career of a teacher, which was the only convenient profession for women in those days. Women could be...
continue reading