Archive and Research Centre for Women's History

Publications of the AVG

Newsletter of the Forum for Belgian Research in History of Women, Gender and Sexuality

The AVG edits the Newsletter of the Forum for Belgian Research in History of Women, Gender and Sexuality. Trough the newletter information is diffused about publications, congresses, workshop etc. in Belgium and the neighboring countries. The newsletter also keeps you updated on the AVG. It is written in French and Dutch.

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Women and men to war, 1914-1918

The First World War was a total war, that involved both the war front and the home front. These two fronts are often shown as separated, but were in fact intertwined. The book focusses on the many upheavals ordinary men and women faced during the First World War and the tensions between old and new ideals. Themes as mobilisation, violence, work and the care for the wounded, intimacy and family life, charity and resistance are approached in an innovatory way. The book also discusses the immediate afterwar period: the difficult reconstruction in families and society as a whole, changes in the labor market, new political rights and the position of men and women in the war memory.

The book was published in relation to the exhibition ‘Gender@war 1914-1918: men and women to war’ (BELvue museum, 9/9/2015 - 3/1/2016). It is available in French and in Dutch.

Eliane Gubin and Henk de Smaele, Femmes et hommes en guerre, 1914-1918, Renaissance du Livre, 2015, ISBN 9782507053321 / Vrouwen en mannen ten oorlog, 1914-1918, Davidsfonds, 2015, ISBN 9789059086777.




proteger

Protéger le jeune enfant. Enjeux sociaux, politiques et sexués (Belgique, 1890-1940)

The Ph.D. dissertation of Claudine Marissal, archivist at the AVG, is published in a book, Protéger le jeune enfant. Enjeux sociaux, politiques et sexués (Belgique, 1890-1940). The dissertation was awarded with the Suzanne Tassier price by the Académie royale de Belgique.

At the end of the 19th century, the protection of the young child starts to develop in Belgium. Doctors and philantropic women create infant care services, where mothers are taught to take care of their children following the new hygienic precepts. In 1919, an official organisation for the protection of young children is established : l'ƒuvre nationale de l'enfance (split in the 1980s into l’Office de la naissance et de l’enfance and Kind en Gezin).

This book turns to the history of this vast educative movement that particularly aims to train women in their mother roles. It reviews the medicalisation of childhood, of pregnancy and child birth, but also the rise and professionalisation of social help to families in poverty. It shows the essential role played by doctors, philantropic women, social workers and christian and socialist female workers movements in the protection of child and mother.

The book highlights the major issues in hygienic and family politics : social, political, demographical and sexual issues. The history of infant protection is a complex subject at the confluence of medical history, social history, political history and women’s history. By relating the history of child protection , the book enriches the comprehension of the current discourse on the child’s well being.

C. Marissal, ProtĂ©ger le jeune enfant : enjeux sociaux, politiques et sexuĂ©s (Belgique, 1890-1940), Editions de l’universitĂ© de Bruxelles, 2014

More information.


Marijke Van Hemeldonck : Socialiste en feministe

The Archive and Research Centre for Women's History elaborated a biography of Marijke Van Hemeldonck, commissioned by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men. It is the fourth publication in a series of biographies. Earlier publications were dedicated to Jeanne Vercheval, Miet Smet and Eliane Vogel-Polsky.

In the second half of the 20th century equality in work, in decision making and within the family were important items on the agenda of the feminist movement.

Marijke Van Hemeldock was very active in this struggle for a more equal society. In spite of many obstacles she kept on urging her socialist union and party to stand up for the rights of working and unemployed women, for free acces to contraceptives and for abortion. She also fought for these issues in feminist groups such as Aktiekomitee Gelijk Loon voor Gelijk Werk (Action Committee Equal Pay for Equal Work), het Vrouwen Overleg Komitee (The Women Consultation Comittee) en LeF (Links en Feministisch / Left and Feminist). Her revolt of the 1960s and 1970s resounds in the articles she wrote in the weekly magazine Links (Left). Marijke Van Hemeldonck was active on the international level as well. She participated in the UN world conferences on women and as a member of European Parliament she helped putting the inequality between men and women on the European agenda.

The book traces the militant track of Marijke Van Hemeldonck, reveals which strategies the women’s movement used to achieve change and how international organisations intervened in the process.

The book is available for free in Dutch and French, at the Institute for Equality of Women and Men (paper edition or download).

E. Flour, Marijke Van Hemeldonck : socialiste en feministe, Instituut voor de gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen - AVG-Carhif, 2013.



Femmes et hommes dans l'histoire : un passé commun (Antiquité et Moyen Age) : a pedagogical tool for history teaching.

History taught at school spreads still too often the idea that women only played a secundary role and that it isn't necessary to emphasize that role. However, women and men together have build up the society they live in day after day.

Femmes et hommes dans l'histoire is a pedagogical tool that wants to show that another history is possible. As an extension to the existing history manuals, it allows to integrate a history of women and men in the classical courses. The manual offers teachers richly documented model leasons that handle the past of men and women through antiquity and the middle ages. In an exploring manner, the tool opens the way to a more complete and more realistic history, that of a common past where women appeared as real actresses at the side of men on the political, social, economic and religious scene.

Femmes et hommes dans l'histoire: un passĂ© commun (AntiquitĂ© et Moyen Âge), by C. Marissal in collaboration with E. Gubin, C. Jacques en A. Morelli, Namur, Labor Education, april 2013.

This manual is only avaible in French.

With the support of the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men.



Jeanne Vercheval: social and feminist commitment

Jeanne Vercheval : social and feminist commitment

At the beginning of the nineteen-seventies a new feminism becomes the topic of conversation in Belgium, just like in other western countries. Women cheerfully and loudly contest the gender inequality, and dream of a society based on equality of women and men. They write, unite, manifest and organize actions that call the attention of the press and the general public to the inequalities.

Jeanne Vercheval is one of them. After an active commitment in communist and pacifist organizations, she throws herself into feminist action. She is the pacesetter of Marie Mineur in Wallonia, co-writes The little red book of women, participates in the organization of the first women's day that gathers thousands of women in Brussels and she fights for the legalisation of abortion.
On the basis of Jeanne Vercheval's militant actions, this book examines the feminism of the nineteen-seventies and the feminist demands that, forty years later, are still alive.

This book is available for free, in French and in Dutch, at the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (on paper, or digitally via the website).

Cl. Marissal, Gubin E., Jeanne Vercheval : Social and feminist commitment, Brussels, Institute for the Equality of Women and Men – AVG-Carhif, 2011, 220 p.



Miet Smet, three decades of equal opportunities policy

Miet Smet, three decades of equal opportunities policy

At the request of the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, the AVG worked on a 'biography of equal opportunities' of Miet Smet, based on a number of interviews. Miet Smet put her stamp on the Belgian policy about the equality of women and men, first as State Secretary for Social Emancipation and then as minister for Equal Opportunities. Violence on women, gender neutral job classifications, the wage gap, the representation of women in advisory councils... are topics that Miet Smet has put on the political agenda for the first time. This book gives an overview of Miet Smet's career, with the emphasis on her realisations concerning the equality of women and men.

This book is available for free, in French and in Dutch, at the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (on paper, or digitally via the website).

Cl. Marissal, Gubin E., Jeanne Vercheval : Social and feminist commitment, Brussels, Institute for the Equality of Women and Men – AVG-Carhif, 2011, 220 p.



Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000. Pedagogical tool for teachers

Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000. Pedagogical tool for teachers

This pedagogical tool is realized in connection with the exhibition Boys and girls... an (un)known destination ? It contains 15 thematic cards with exercises and background information, and 40 historical documents to work with. The three central topics in the tool – family, school and work – connect with the own experiences of pupils and with their family history, which makes reflection and discussion easier. The reproduced documents are very diverse, cover two centuries of Belgian history and stimulate historical criticism.

A pdf version of the tool is available in French and in Dutch.

E. Flour, Cl. Marissal, E. Gubin, Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000. Pedagogic tool for teachers, Brussels, AVG-Carhif, 2009, 69p.



Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000

Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000

At home, in the classroom, at work... stereotypical ideas about boys and girls, men and women, circulate everywhere. These ideas are not so 'natural' and constant as they seem to be. They arise in a concrete, historical context, spread and are subject to protest and change.
The richly illustrated book 'Boys and girls... an (un)known destination?' shows how the ideas about masculinity and femininity evolved in Belgium in the last two centuries. And together with these ideas the real life of men and women changed: the meaning of fatherhood and motherhood, toys and clothes, visions on education and work.
This publication is realized in connection with the exhibition Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000 (BELvue museum, February 3 – May 31 2009).

The book is available in French and in Dutch and can be ordered at the AVG for 12 € a piece (+ 2,5 € shipping costs for Belgium).

E. Flour, E. Gubin, Cl. Marissal, R. Cockx, L. Van Molle, C. Wallemacq, Boys and girls... an (un)known destination? Belgium, 1830-2000, Brussels, AVG-Carhif, 2009, 87 p.



Éliane Vogel-Polsky, a woman with convictions

Following a request from the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, the Archive Centre on Women’s History organized a series of interviews with Eliane Vogel-Polsky. This renowned jurist, specializing in labor law and social law, has devoted herself to the equal treatment of women on the labor market, to political equality and parity, over several decades on both national as international fields.
Prof. Eliane Gubin, with the assistance Catherine Jacques (ULB), wrote an inspired biography on Eliane Vogel-Polsky, based on the above-mentioned interviews. She brings a clear picture of the bigger stages on Vogel-Polsky’s track, and of her judicial line of thought.

This book is available for free in Dutch, French, and English at the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (on paper, or digitally via the website).

Eliane Gubin, Éliane Vogel-Polsky, a woman of conviction. Brussels, Institut pour l’EgalitĂ© des Femmes et des Hommes - AVG/Carhif, 2007. - 176 p.



History of international feminism (Special issue of Sextant)

History of international feminism (Special issue of Sextant)

The AVG celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2005 with a colloquium on the history of the international women’s movement. Historians Karen Offen, Anne Summers, Catherine Jacques, and Isabelle VahĂ© presented the results of recent research on international women’s organizations at this event. Their contributions were published in a special issue of Sextant magazine, issued at the end of 2007.

FĂ©minisme international, special issue of Sextant, revue du Groupe Interdisciplinaire d’Etudes sur les Femmes ; nr 23-24, 2007, 265 p. ISSN 1370-267 X.



Women changing the world

Women changing the world

Women changing the world zooms in on the history of the International Council of Women (ICW), the oldest international women’s organization still in existence. The book is based on new research of the archives of the ICW that are kept at the AVG. The internal history of the organization is a focal point, with an emphasis on the period after the Second World War. Its geographical development from a ‘Western’ to a real international organization, the profile of the members of the Board, the interaction with international governmental organizations, its evolving viewpoints, and the strategies applied by the organization to stand firm in a fastly evolving and often discordant context, are a few of the themes that are mentioned.

Leen Van Molle and Eliane Gubin (eds.), Women changing the world : a history of the International Council of Women, Brussels, Editions Racine, 2005, 241 p. ISBN 2-87386-400-1.



On the road to parity democracy: analysis of the municipal and provincial elections on October 8, 2000

On the road to parity democracy: analysis of the municipal and provincial elections on October 8, 2000

Following a quest from the federal minister in charge of equal opportunities, the AVG conducted a gender analysis of the results of the municipal and provincial elections of October 8, 2000. The aim was to calculate the participation of women to the election process. You can download this publication from the website of the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (in Dutch or French).

C. Marissal, I. Hansen ; E. Gubin, L. Van Molle (dir.), Vers une dĂ©mocratie paritaire : analyse des Ă©lections communales et provinciales du 8 octobre 2000 , Bruxelles, MinistĂšre FĂ©dĂ©ral de l'Emploi et du Travail. Direction de l'EgalitĂ© des Chances ; Carhif – AVG , 2001, 155 p.



Exhibition Catalogue, “A Woman, a Vote/Voice”

In 1996 the AVG presented the traveling exhibition A Woman, a Vote/Voice, on the history of women’s participation to political life in Belgium between 1789 and 1948. The catalogue is an assembly of the guiding texts on the exhibition panels.

Els Flour, Catherine Jacques ; Eliane Gubin, Leen Van Molle (o.l.v.), Une femme, une Voix: une exposition sur la citoyenneté des femmes en Belgique 1789-1948, Bruxelles ; Carhif, 1996, 71 p.



Sources for the history of the women’s movement in Belgium

As assigned by the then federal minister in charge of equal opportunities, two source repertoires of women’s history in Belgium came into being in 1993 and 1994: one of archives of the women’s movement and one of the feminist and the women’s press. These two repertoires were at the core of the foundation of the AVG-Carhif.

Els Flour, Catherine Jacques, Claudine Marissal; Eliane Gubin, Leen Van Molle (led by), Répertoire pour l'histoire des femmes en Belgique : répertoire de la presse féminine et féministe en Belgique 1830-1994, Bruxelles ; Inbel, 1993 (2 volumes).
Els Flour, Catherine Jacques, Claudine Marissal; Eliane Gubin, Leen Van Molle (led by), Sources pour l'histoire des femmes en Belgique : répertoire d'archives 1830-1993 , Bruxelles: Inbel, 1993. - 339 p.