Özel Sayı, Şubat 2016


ABSTRACT. This paper is suggesting a periodization of Czech emancipist women’s movement within historical, political and other contexts, from the perspective of feminist analysis. The first phase (roughly up to 1860s – 1870s) represents the beginings of of the movement. This period of the emancipist movement was much influenced by liberal thoughts, namely those of John Stuart Mill. The main emphasis was put on female education. During the seconf phase (up to the end of the First World War and establishing of independent Czechoslovakia), new political aims were articulated, especially the struggle for the female suffrage. In 1905, a “Committee for women’s suffrage” was founded. This phase can be characterized as a shift from more vague emancipism to feminism as a political program. The period between the First and Second World Wars is often called as a „Golden age of feminism in the Czech country“. By the constitution of the new state, education became equal for all the citizens, women got the right to vote and be elected. Czech feminist movement became a part of the world’s movement of the times. This development was cut by the war. The communist dictatorship (1948-1989) supressed any activities from below, feminist activities included. Women as obligatory “builders of socialism” remained loaded with the duties in the private sphere (family) and thus faced a double burden work. Their “emancipation” was rather doubtful. After 1989, a beginning of a transfer to democracy opened the scene for independent activities, the feminist ones included (NGOs). Some laws supporting equal opportunities were passed but some are waiting for acceptance. In the academy, gender studies emerged for the first time – a separate Master´s department was established at Charles University, Prague. Feminism has been developing as a plural system of thoughts, with the specifics of the Czech historical experiences.

Keywords: Czech, feminism, gender, post-totalitarian, discrimination.