Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

Did you know that Polish women…

Did you know that Polish women

    1. Were among the first in Europe who received the right to vote. Spain came later in 1933, France in 1944, Italy in 1946, Greece in 1952, San Marino in 1959, Monaco in 1962, Andora in 1970, Switzerland in 1971 at federal level and at local canton level between 1959 in the cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel and 1991 in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, and Liechtenstein in 1984. In Portugal women received suffrage in 1931, but full gender equality in voting was granted in 1976.Outside Europe in 1893, the British colony of New Zealand, granted women the right to vote. The colony of South Australia in 1894. In 1899 Western Australia enacted full women’s suffrage. In 1902 women in the remaining four colonies also acquired the right to vote and stand in federal elections after the six Australian colonies federated to become the Commonwealth of Australia. Discriminatory restrictions against Aboriginal people, including women, voting in national elections, were not completely removed until 1962.The United States gave women equal voting rights in all states with the Nineteenth Amendment ratified in 1920. Canada and a few Latin American nations passed women’s suffrage before World War II while most of Latin American nations established women’s suffrage in the 1940s. Paraguay was the last Latin American country to give women the right to vote.In December 2015, women were first allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia in municipal elections.
    2. Were admitted to the Jagiellonian University in Krakow  in 1894/1895 and this university was the first in Poland to accept female students. As not registered students Jadwiga Sikorska, Stanisława Dowgiałłówna, and Janina Kosmowska were admitted  at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pharmaceutical School. The year afterwards another five female students joined university and the year after that 14 other female students followed.Final decisions were made in 1897, when the Faculty Board agreed to admit women as regular students.

Photo: Jadwiga Sikorska, Stanisława Dowgiałłówna, and Janina Kosmowska – pioneer students of pharmacy, admitted in 1894.

3. Were members of the Polish Parliament-Sejm in the interbellum period and one of them was a deputy minister.

Eight highly educated women: Gabriela Balicka, Jadwiga Dziubińska, Irena Kosmowska, Maria Moczydłowska, Zofia Moraczewska, Anna Piasecka, Zofia Sokolnicka, and Franciszka Wilczkowiakowa were the first members of the Polish Parliament: Sejm.

Irena Kosmowska was the first female senior administration official. She was a member of the Sejm in 1919-1930 and also served as a deputy minister of social welfare in the Provisional Government of Ignacy Daszyński.

Photo: Irena Kosmowska

4. On 1929 Wanda Grabińska was the first Polish woman to be appointed judge in Poland. She finished her law studies in 1924 and after completing her trainership she started fighting for her appointment as a judge. While applying for this post she cited the constitution, which gave women equal rights in access to public offices. It took her 18 months to reach her goal and become a judge.

Photo: Wanda Grabińska

Sources: Poland.pl, Wikipedia

Photos:NAC, National Polish Archives, Poland.pl