Women and Education

Female education in the upper classes was practiced in various societies since the Antiquity. There were poets, writers, artist, scientists, religious thinkers and politicians. There were women intellectuals who played important role in the social cultural life. Nevertheless the idea of the systematical rational education of women as a part of the struggle for self-determination of women and their emancipatory efforts emerged in 18-19 century. It was connected to the ideas of the Enlightenment. There were the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft  (1759 – 1797): “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters” (1878) and “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1897) which encouraged education of girls and women and their efforts for the development of their mental skills and their social responsibilities. In 19th century such ideas were spread broadly and gave impulses for women in different countries to struggle for entering the public sphere, for higher female education, for university access and for the organized movements for women’s rights.