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Intellectual Emancipation: Swiss Women and Education


Joy Charnley and Malcolm Pender

The year 2001 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction in 1971 of women’s right to vote and to stand for office in federal elections in Switzerland, the twentieth anniversary of the enshrinement in the Swiss Constitution of equality between the sexes and the tenth anniversary of the women’s strike in 1991. In 2001, a year which relates so much to recent milestones on the way to fully established and practised equality, it seems appropriate to explore some aspects of a form of emancipation which, for women, preceded 1971 – the intellectual emancipation offered by education.
The articles published here look at the role played by women both as students and teachers, from the 18th to the 21st centuries, recognising the various ways in which education has liberated women in personal terms and has promoted the cause of women’s rights. Conversely, the articles also point to the fact that education may not only be denied to women, but that its acquisition may possibly be openly combatted by them or construed to be a threat to perceptions of the existing social order rather than as an opportunity for personal enrichment and for re-defining women’s role in society.
Contents: Yvonne Leimgruber: On the Difficulty of Realising a Theory of the Sexes: A Comparison between the Writings and the Everyday Practice of the Pedagogue Rosette Niederer-Kasthofer (1779-1857) – Claudia Crotti/Charlotte Müller: ‘Die Galanterie wich dem Kampf’: Women at Swiss Universities in the 19th Century – Tatiana Crivelli: The Ladies of the Romanica – Joy Charnley: Education and Female Aspiration in the Works of Janine Massard – Malcolm Pender: Emancipation through Writing: Mariella Mehr and steinzeit – Annelies Debrunner: Career Opportunities for Women - New Possibilities at Swiss Colleges?