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85 BUJWIDOWA, Kazimiera (1867–1932) Polish feminist campaigner and publicist. Kazimiera Bujwidowa (born Klimontowicz ) was born on 16 October 1867 in Warsaw. She was the only child of Ludwika (nee Szczęśniewska) and Kazimierz Klimontowicz, the latter from a lower noble family of Lithuanian origin. Although her parents were not married, her father gave her his name and supported her financially. After the death of Kazimiera ’s mother, Kazimiera was placed in the custody of her aunt, Karolina Petronela Klimontowicz, who had participated in the January 1863 Uprising against Russian rule. Kazimiera Klimontowicz attended Justyna Budzińska’s private boarding school for girls in Warsaw, going on to qualify as a private tutor after her graduation. Her plans to study abroad were opposed by her aunt and so, since women were not allowed to study at the Russified Warsaw University, Kazimiera Klimontowicz enrolled in a dressmaking course. In the late 1880s, she also attended classes at the secret ‘Flying University’—a social initiative founded in 1885 to enable women from the Russian partition, unable to study abroad, to receive higher education. In 1886, Kazimiera Klimontowicz married the bacteriologist and social worker Odon Bujwid, with whom she formed a happy partnership. She worked in the laboratory of her husband as his assistant and laboratory technician. The Bujwid family always participated together in social and educational activities. They had six children: four daughters (Kazimiera, b.1888; Zofia, b.1890; Jadwiga, b.1892 and Helena, b.1897) and two sons (Jan, b.1889 and Stanisław, b.1895). In 1893, the Bujwids moved to Cracow, where Odon was appointed professor at the Jagiellonian University and Bujwidowa worked as an administrator at the Institute for the Production of Sera and Vaccines, headed by her husband. In this period, Bujwidowa participated in social, educational and feminist campaigns in both Warsaw and Cracow; these aimed to reduce adult illiteracy, promote education and establish reading rooms for young people. From 1899 to 1901, Bujwidowa was a member of the Board of Directors of the Towarzystwo Szkół Ludowych (TSL, Society of Elementary Schools), in which she had been actively involved since 1893. In the Cracow Women’s Circle of the TSL, she encountered the two feminists Maria Siedlecka and Maria Tur- 86 zyma-Wiśniewska (1860–1922). Bujwidowa organized the Cracow Czytelnia dla kobiet (Reading Room for Women) and became its Chairwoman. She was co-organizer and Board member of the Adam Mickiewicz People’s University, an educational organization that aimed to improve mass education, and published the pamphlets Domy ludowe (People’s houses, 1903) and Reforma wychowania i ochrona dziecka (The reform of child rearing and child protection, 1905). Bujwidowa considered the roles of mothers and schools crucially important in the creation of a better society. Women, therefore, were to be professionally trained in pedagogy, psychology and hygiene. Bujwidowa also argued for co-education and in 1909, attended the II Polski Kongres Pedagogiczny (Second All-Polish Pedagogical Congress) as Vice-Chair of the Girls’ Education Section . During the 1890s, Bujwidowa officially abandoned the Roman Catholic Church and declared herself an atheist. She co-operated with the anticlerical Komitet młodzieży krakowskiej (Cracow Youth Committee), financing the publication of a manifesto, Młodzież społeczeństwu (The Young for Society). Inspired by the ideas of the Spanish freethinker Francisco Ferrear, Bujwidowa co-initiated the Towarzystwo Etyczne (Ethical Society). In addition to her freethinking activities, which led to certain hostilities towards her from conservative circles in Cracow, Bujwidowa led campaigns for women’s higher education. As Chairwoman of the Towarzystwo Gimnazjalnej Szkoły Żeńskiej (Society of High Schools for Girls), she established the first High School for Girls on Polish territory where girls could take state graduation examinations. In 1894, Bujwidowa initiated a campaign for women’s university admission, coordinating the submission of women’s individual and collective applications to the Galician universities in Lviv and Cracow. The campaign was not without success: in 1897, the authorities of both universities decided to open their philosophy and medicine faculties for women. In 1904, Bujwidowa signed petitions to the Sejm Krajowy in Lviv (Parliament of autonomous Galicia) and in 1910 to the State Council in Vienna, demanding full equality for women in university education. In the same period, Bujwidowa participated in suffrage campaigns, chairing a women’s delegation to the Sejm Krajowy in 1896 that demanded equal voting rights for women in council elections. She also attended Polish women’s congresses, where she established contacts with feminists from the...


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