The 2019 year gives a special opportunity to consider the short period of the political participance of women. In some countries women firstly used these political right one hundred years ago. The historic-biographical workshop organized be the Swiss Peace Council was dedicated to this historical event.
On Sunday, May. 12 24 participants from different countries could learn more about the history of the women`s right to vote and the sequence of the countries who allowed their female citizens to vote. Dr. Sławomira Walczewska led the workshop. She is a Polish philosopher and feminist. Her book „Ladies, Knights and Feminists. On Women’s Rights Discourse in Poland “ was published in 2015 in Darmstadt. She lives in Krakau, Poland and works for Women`s Foundation eFKA.
The workshop was started with the unusual presentation round: as it was the Mother`s Day on May,12 the women were asked to say their name, followed by their mother`s, then grandmother`s name and great-grandmother (if known). They could recall the names of so many female representatives in the history of the family as possible.
Then the participants learnt more about women’s emancipation in Europe. Finland was the first European country to join the ranks of other, more progressive nations in 1906. Women had a difficult time obtaining the right to vote in Russia and got it finally on June, 20, 1917. German women got it one year later. Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971.
The women also reflected on the interconnections between the women’s history and their own biography. After the workshop they went to the excursion around the city of Zürich organised by Helena Nyberg with the special focus on the role of women in the history of the Swiss city.
Thanks to Dr. Sławomira Walczewska for the inspiring workshop and to Helena Nyberg for the exciting excursion!