Sådan startede det
På tidspunktet omkring afholdelsen af den første kvindefredskonference i 1915 var mange kvinder i Europa i forvejen aktive stemmeretsforkæmpere og i USA blev mange inspireret af dem. Clara Tybjerg, en af de danske delegerede, udtalte ”at fredsideen fik ny aktualitet på baggrund af første verdenskrigs blodige begivenheder” og både i Europa og USA var der stor modstand mod krigen.
Efter et forberedende arbejde i februar samme år inviterede kvinderne kort tid efter en række organisationer verden over til kvindefredskonference.
I indbydelsen lagde man bl.a. vægt på ”at i en tid, hvor der findes så meget had mellem folkene er det vigtigt at vise verden at kvinder kan opretholde deres solidaritet og gensidige venskab og bidrage til løsningen af dagens store problem”.
Under denne konference, som fandt sted i Haag i dagene 28. april – 1.maj 1915 grundlagdes en International Kvindekomite for varig Fred med hovedsæde i Amsterdam.
I juni-juli 1916 rundsendte den danske sektion en redegørelse om konferencen i Haag og en opfordring til danske kvinder om at ”træde ind i Danske Kvinders Freds-kæde”.
Fra opfordringen til medlemskab hedder det bl.a.: “Vi henvender os til alle kvinder i vort land, der som vi, ønsker og håber på freden og vi opfordrer enhver dansk kvinde til at virke for tilslutning til det internationale kvinde-fredsforbund, som nu midt under verdenskrigen er i færd med at danne sig som et kvindernes værn mod en gentagelse af den ulykke vi nu oplever.”
Læs mere på www.fred.dk
Kvindefredsligaens historie på museum
I år fejrer Kvindernes Internationale Liga for Fred og Frihed 100 års fødselsdag. I den forbindelse forbereder Kvindemuseet i Danmark i øjeblikket en udstilling over ligaens historie, som bliver åben for publikum i starten af maj 2015.
2015 er også 100-års jubilæet for kvindernes valgret i Danmark. Museet vælger derfor at fokusere på to historier, som er knyttet til året 1915. Kvindefredsligaens historie er den ene, mens hele museets øverste etage er tilegnet fortællingen om den almindelige kvindes liv i 1915. Her bliver der i februar 2015 udstillet et øjebliksbillede af tre meget forskellige kvinders liv i 1915, hvor man kan komme helt tæt på deres personlighed, familierelationer og arbejde. Ud fra disse kvinders historier fortæller udstillingen omkring ægteskab, uddannelses- og arbejdsmuligheder og, selvfølgelig, hvordan den altoverskyggende nyvundne valgret havde betydning for den helt almindelige kvinde.
Udstillingen om ligaens historie vil ligeledes være fokuseret på begivenhederne under første verdenskrig og begyndelsen i 1915. Dengang rejste otte håbefulde danske kvinder til Haag for at mødes med kvinder fra andre lande og rejse sig i protest imod krigen og tale for freden. Thora Daugaard, bladredaktør, senere modstandskvinde og ligaens forkvinde i mange år, fulgtes med Clara Tybjerg, børnenes forkæmper og varmhjertet humanist, til Holland og tilbage til Danmark, hvor de sammen dannede Danske Kvinders Fredskæde. Disse to farverige kvinder vil blandt andre illustrere den idealisme og ildånd, med hvilke kvinderne kæmpede for fred. Håbet var dengang, at kvinderne med deres nyvundne valgrettigheder kunne få mere indflydelse i mændenes rækker og skabe fred i verden. Ifølge dem, var kvinder de naturlige fredsforkæmpere, da de, som mødre, forstod det håbløse og unødvendige i, at sønnerne blev kanonføde.
Med udvalgte nedslag i kvindefredsligaens historie vil udstillingen følge organisationens? ligaens kamp for fred op igennem det 20. århundrede og slutte med et udblik på den internationale situation i dag. Hjælp til jøderne under anden verdenskrig, fredsundervisning i skolerne, bedstemormarcher, fredsrejser, demonstrationer og nødhjælp er blot nogle få eksempler på de temaer, som i udstillingen skal skabe grundlag for personlige overvejelser hos den enkelte museumsgæst og give mulighed for en debat om krig, fred og frihed.
Se også Kvindemuseets hjemmeside, www.kvindemuseet.dk
Fem profiler af danske kvinder, som deltog i konferencen i Haag i 2015
Clara Tybjerg (1886-1941)
Educated as a teacher and working in Denmark’s first mixed school, CT was throughout her life an active advocate for equal education to boys and girls. She was also deeply involved in the fight for women’s suffrage and fought for the cause until 1915, when Danish women won the right to vote. Both facts mirror her work in the peace movement. She was a participant at the Haag congress 1915, a founder of the Danish Section and its president 1916-1920. CT was responsible for the education of 30 lecturers in international politics in 1917, who’s job were to spread awareness on the peace cause, and thereby spread the word of the league’s existence. In this period 10.000 women paid one “peace-crone” to be a full member of the Danish section. After the First World War she participated in bringing children from the hunger stricken Vienna to Denmark. Here they were put in private Danish homes to be nurtured back to health. She was also a member of the Danish Red Cross. Her interest in education brought her to be involved in a revision of Danish school books in 1930-33. The committee wanted to further a focus on peace and not war in education. CT was internationally renowned and the Christmas of 1922 was spent with Jane Addams, who was visiting Denmark. CT was married in 1894, had two children and lost her husband in 1925.
Thora Daugaard (1874-1951)
Through her work as sub-editor of a women’s magazine TD became involved in the women’s suffrage movement. When the right to vote was won, she devoted her life to the peace cause. She was a participant at Haag, a founder of the Danish section and its president 1921-41. In 1919 she became the editor of a new women’s magazine, where the Danish section got a message page for its members. In 1924 the league’s own magazine Peace and Freedom was on the street. To date the oldest peace magazine in Dk. Beside her peace work TD founded a house with 150 apartments for single, working women, where she lived herself. She never married. She was a talented lecturer and was therefore invited by Jane Addams to do a peace tour in the US 1927-29. She was the league’s international treasurer 1938-46. One of her most important accomplishments was her help to young Jews during the Second World War. The Danish section obtained permission to house 350 young German Jews in private Danish homes in 1939. The Jews were to stay a year and then travel to Palestine. When Dk was occupied, the Jews were allowed to stay and the league helped the families keep a low profile. During the Jewish raids of 1943 in Dk, the league helped the Jews flee to Sweden. Only 43 were caught, but the league was able to send help-packages to them and all survived. TD was a dedicated, but strict, leader of the section during her time. Despite her temper, she was valued, and missed when she retired.
Benny Cederfeld de Simonsen (1865-1952)
The daughter of a noble BC was tutored by private teachers learning fluently French, English and German, and the understanding of different cultures. In 1892 she became the wife of a noble, and in spite of having 6 children, she still found time for her great interest in international work. She was a member of the Danish section from 1916, and from 1919 she undertook to further the section’s work in her home area of Funen. Her district soon was the most active of all the Danish districts with 4000 members. She was internationally know and often a representative at WILPF’s congresses. In 1939 she was made the first honorary member of the Danish section. She did a great deal of work on re-establishing good relations in the Danish-German border area after 1920, when Southern Jutland was returned to Denmark. In 1944, as part of the Danish section’s preparations for post-war help work, a fund was made in her name, to which she immediately gave 10.000 Danish crones. The fund helped feed starving children, clothed orphans and sent Christmas presents to children in Poland, Austria and Germany. BC did not, as the other Danish women, come from a liberal or radical background, but from the conservative noble environment of Danish society. In spite of this she was one of the most prominent women on the national and international scene fighting for peace and understanding among people of different cultures.
Henni Forchammer (1863-1955)
HF did not take a formal education, but studied languages independently, published several books on phonetics and worked as a teacher. She never married. Living in Copenhagen from 1892, she became involved in the women’s movements. She was soon a front woman, being president of the Danish Women’s National Society 1913-31. When the right to vote was won in 1915, HF was the first woman to speak at Parliament. She expressed joy, but did not thank – thereby pointing out it was only natural that women should vote, not a gift. HF was vice-president in the International Council of Women 1914-30, and a mediator of peace during the 1. WW. Because of illness she did not participate at Haag 1915, but joined the Danish section 1916. She was at Zürich 1919 and in 1932 in Geneva she handed over 400.000 signatures for the demand of disarmament on behalf of Danish women. In 1920 HF was elected to participate as a technical delegate at the first League of Nation congress. Here she was a supplicant until 1937, when she retired. She was the first woman to speak in the League of Nations, when she spook of trade with women. In 1945 she was co-founder of the organisation Save the child. HF was always very modest and sometimes shy of speaking publicly. However, her passion for several causes helped her overcome this, resulted in her making a difference and in making international friends, such as Jane Adams.
Else Zeuthen (1897-1975)
Brought up in an academic home environment EZ took an MA in English at the University of Copenhagen 1921. She was a teaching assistance here 1929-35, but after this she was actively involved in politics, international co-operation and the peace cause. EZ became a member of the Danish section 1935 and was its president 1941-53. In 1953 she was elected to the Danish Parliament. By her entry into politics she hoped to be able to spread WILPF’s ideas of peace to a place where it could make a difference. As a pacifist she fought for international co-operation in the UN, was critical of NATO and advocated an open debate about defence politics. During her political work she was a member of WILPF’s international board 1946-65 and the international president 1956-65. During the Second World War she was able to keep the Danish section working. The peace magazine was brought almost as normal and the members kept meeting both private and public. In 1944 she involved the league, together with other peace organisations, in preparations for post-war help work, which resulted in a help-organisation which still exists today(Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke). During her time involved in the league the Danish section reach its highest number of members, around 20-25.000 in the 30ies and 40ies. Married, having no children, EZ had the time and the drive to build a vast international network to further understanding of peace and international relations.