In the eighteenth century, enlightened ideas about the organization of society, including the position of women, arose in Europe. Feminism, the social and political movement that strives for gender equality, originated in this century.
Mary WollstonecraftThe British Mary Wollstonecraft is seen by some as the founder of feminism. She was a writer and philosopher. In 1792 she published the pamphlet A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which is still seen as the first feminist work. It was unique at that time that a woman wrote about her own position.
Olympe de GougesAnother founder of feminism is the French Olympe de Gouges. In 1791 she published the Declaration of the rights of women and female citizens. This was a critical nod to the Declaration of the rights of man and citizen. In her work she championed for the equal treatment of men and women, but also for unmarried mothers.
Feminism in the 18th century and beyond
The right to live equally well as a man
In 1897, this top Dutch feminist best-seller came out: Hilda van Suylenburg by C. Goedkoop-de Jong van Beek en Donk. By 1919 it got to its eighth edition.Read more
Competition For the Colored Show Bill
In 1898, the inauguration of Queen Wilhelmina was seized as an opportunity to organize a national exhibition on women’s labor, the ‘Nationale Tentoonstelling van Vrouwenarbeid‘. This exhibition in The Hague was a milestone in the history of the Dutch women’s movement. Women of diverse denominations and background had united themselves for the first time to […]Read more