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The Role of the Woman

The Role of the Woman in Public Life in the 19th and the 20th century reflected in Polish women’s literature

The aim of this project is to present the role of women in public life in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century reflected in the literature of Polish women writers. Polish women writers, for example Narcyza ?michowska, Maria Konopnicka, Eliza Orzeszkowa, Maria D?browska, Zofia Na?kowska referred to the issue of the participation of women in public life. The opinion on the feminine issues depended on the economical and living conditions that women writers lived in, their education, opinions on the civilization, social environment, the attitude toward tradition and the issue of women’s independence. Often the liberal opinion on women’s rights was held by single Polish women writers. Notably Polish women writers referred to the attitude towards a participation of women in public life adapted in Western Europe taking into consideration Polish life conditions and regional divisions (the annexations, districts, centers, provinces).

The analysis of Polish women writers’ literary works would depict the changes referred to women’s right to take part in public life between the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In the 19th century women were hardly engaged in the activities outside the family duties. The 19th century was the beginning of women’s engagement into public matters concerning charity activities and education. In the 20th century they started to be interested into political matters as well as to set up their feminist organizations without the participation of men.

SvD, June 2011

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