Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Against Vulnerability: 100 Years of Women's Rights in Europe

10:00 am to 5:30 pm, 07 March 2018

Men and Women in Heart Shapes

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IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing

Eastern European lessons on women's right to vote and women's right to choose, celebrating International Women's Day on 8 March.

During Communism, 8 March was celebrated as International Women's Day, taking its origins from the history of the socialist movement. At the time, it was compulsory to celebrate full equality between the sexes, which had allegedly been reached: marches, school galas, and bosses' speeches in the workplace commemorated the achievement. After the fall of Communism, the day was re-appropriated by the Polish feminist movement, which has organised yearly countrywide manifestations called Manifas, expressing concerns about women's life and equality which appeared to be lacking after all.

Similar to many countries across Europe, Poland granted women political rights on 28 November 1918. The eve of 8 March 2018 provides a special opportunity to mark the centenary of women's suffrage in Central and Eastern Europe, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Russia, as well as the Representations of the People Act in the UK. Joining symbolically the tradition of Manifa demonstrations, this one-day seminar is devoted to discussions covering a range of issues that women face a hundred years on: the life-changing impact of political rights, legal and symbolic representation in the face of economic and social change, and women's place (or the lack thereof) in fora and frameworks of power in the European tradition. This seminar adopts a comparative areal perspective on these themes, focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on Poland and Hungary.

Download the programme here.



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