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Women's press

Compared with other European countries such as England, France and Germany, women's periodicals in the Dutch Republic started to appear relatively late. Only in the eighties did the first magazines that exclusively targeted women emerge: de Algemeene Oeffenschool der Vrouwen (1784-1785, The General School for Women), which was a translation of the German periodical Damen-Journal, von einer Dames-Gesellschaft, the possibly homegrown De Dames-Post (1785, The Ladies' Post) and some others.

The late development of the Dutch women's press can be explained in several ways. In the first place the population of Dutch native speakers was relatively small, which led to a slower development of the press in general. In the second place competition with French women's periodicals, which were also printed and distributed in the Dutch Republic, was probably unfavourable to the development of a native women's press. Furthermore the market was already saturated by moral weeklies and other periodicals which were aimed at a mixed audience.

Between 1830 and 1870 Dutch women's magazines gradually developed into a flourishing genre, and in 1870 two periodicals appeared that resembled each other very much, both in outward appearance and in their titles: Ons Streven (1870-1878), and Onze Roeping (1870-1873). Both magazines were founded by the novelist Betsy Perk. The goal of both magazines was indeed the same: to improve the position of women in society.

Some examples:


  • Dijk, Suzan van and Helmers, Dini, ‘Nederlandse vrouwentijdschriften in de 18e eeuw?’, in W.W. Mijnhardt (ed.), Balans en Perspectief van de Nederlandse cultuurgeschiedenis: De productie, distributie en consumptie van cultuur. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991), 71-88.
  • Lotte E. Jensen, 'Bij uitsluiting voor de vrouwelijke sekse geschikt' Vrouwentijdschriften en journalistes in Nederland in de achttiende en negentiende eeuw. Hilversum: Verloren, 2001.

Lotte E. Jensen, 2001

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  • Sources > Dutch sources > Articles in the press > Women's press

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