Slavka K. Dinkova (1850‒1869)

She was born probably in 1850 in Salonika, in a famous family of Držilovi/Dinkovi (a dauther of Kostadin and Velika and a sister of the revivalist Ǵorǵi Dinkata). She received her education in a Greek school and a French college in Salonikа, hence she was fluent in both Greek and French. Later, influenced by her mother Velika Dinkova, she became a teacher herself and opened the first people’s women’s school in Salonica, which probably began with work in 1865. In fact, this school was housed in the house of Držilovci and was also funded by this family, while Slavka Dinkova worked there for free. The first two years it was a school for girls only (starting with one schoolgirl), and later boys began to study as well. The school’s work required additional funding and, according to some data, it received financial help from some monasteries of Mount Athos, from the Salonika’s guild of sewers, from the archimandrite Pavel Gramatikov ‒ Božigropski, etc. The school stopped working temporarily after Slavka’s death, while work continued again only later.

Although Slavka Dinkova died very young, she still left a mark in the history. However, her interests expanded and she was profiled as a journalist, feminist, translator from French and poetess. She was the first woman from Macedonia to publish her articles in the press. The first article was “For the Upbringing of Girls”, published in the newspaper Makedoni҇a (Carigrad, 1868), followed by several others. It is in those articles that she profiled herself as an advocate for the emancipation of women.

Author: Biljana Ristovska-Josifovska