Masaryk and the Women’s Question

  • Marie L. Neudorfl
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


The movement for women’s emancipation in Czech society up to 1914 increased significantly in the decades before World War I.1 Until the 1880s it mostly evolved around campaigns to establish a greater number of private secondary and specialised schools for girls, and around literary efforts to depict faithfully the life of women in various strata of Czech society. Although the middle class of better educated women, especially writers and wives of politicians, formed the core of endeavours for the intellectual elevation of Czech women, they were significantly assisted by a number of Czech politicians, intellectuals, and wealthy citizens.2 By the 1890s the women’s emancipation movement had become more widespread and better organised, and its major goals were more clearly formulated than in previous decades. It also acquired a partly political character.3 Although its impact on society became considerable, the women’s movement has been largely ignored as a topic of a serious historical investigation. The relevant works, including those dealing with the involvement of Thomas G. Masaryk, are scarce, are written in Czech, and were published before World War II.


Social Critic Marital Relation Czech Society Wealthy Citizen Free Love 
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  1. 12.
    T. G. Masaryk, Mnohoženství a jednoženství, 2nd ed. (Prague: Koéi, 1925) pp. 6–7.Google Scholar

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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1990

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  • Marie L. Neudorfl

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