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173 HAINISCH, Marianne (1839–1936) Leader of the Austrian liberal women’s movement. Founder (1902) and President (until 1918) of the Bund österreichischer Frauenvereine (BÖFV, Union of Austrian Women’s Associations); President (from 1929 until her death) of the Österreichische Frauenpartei (Austrian Women’s Party); honorary Vice-President for Austria –Hungary in the International Council of Women (appointed 1899), later ICW Vice-President (1909–1914). Marianne Hainisch (nee Perger) was born on 25 March 1839 in Baden, a summer resort close to Vienna. Her father Josef Perger (1806–1886), a merchant, owned a metal plant and a cotton mill in Hirtenberg, Lower Austria. Marianne Hainisch’s memories of her mother Maria (1820–1903), with whom she had a close relationship and who influenced her views on the significance of the mother for the family, are insightful. Education was all-important for Maria Perger, who taught her children herself (Marianne had two brothers and three sisters), in addition to employing tutors. In 1857, Marianne Perger married Michael Hainisch (1832–1889), the owner of a cotton mill in Aue bei Schottwien, Lower Austria. The couple had two children: a son Michael (1858–1940), who was to become President of Austria (1920– 1928), and a daughter Maria (born 1860). In 1868, the Hainisch family moved from Lower Austria to Vienna. Marianne Hainisch’s interest in the women’s movement reflected the economic crises of the 1860s and 1870s, when many cotton mills were closed down. Increasingly , men could not afford to marry and women’s (cheaper) labor became a focal point of discussion. Hainisch repeatedly mentioned one personal experience that showed how inadequate women’s education was for any profession or trade: A young friend whose husband had fallen ill had sought an occupation in order to be able to support her family. In spite of her language and musical skills, she had been unable to find a profession in keeping with her social status: “It became clear to me that middleclass girls needed preparation for gainful employment. I was deeply moved and became a champion of women on that day” (cited in Laessig 1949, 12–13). Marianne Hainisch joined the Wiener Frauenerwerbsverein (Viennese Women’s Employment Association, founded in 1866), which sought to give lower middle-class women voca- 174 tional training and thus save them from impoverishment. The Wiener Frauenerwerbsverein organized courses in sewing, stitching, tatting, hairdressing, dressmaking, cooking and homemaking. It also established a commercial school and a school for office jobs. In her book Die Brodfrage der Frau (Women and employment, 1875), Marianne Hainisch complained how difficult it was to find adequate jobs for skilled women. Well-paid jobs clashed with gender roles, according to which ‘nature’ supposedly restricted the kind of work women could perform. In her first public speech, “Zur Frage des Frauen-Unterrichtes” (On the issue of women’s education), given at the third general meeting of the Wiener Frauenerwerbsverein in 1870, Hainisch demanded secondary schooling for girls that might enable them to pursue higher education and to enter the professions. As a member of the Verein für erweiterte Frauenbildung (Association for Extended Women’s Education, founded in 1888), Marianne Hainisch was able to further her goals. In 1892, the first grammar school for girls in the German-speaking region was established in Vienna. Besides higher education and the opening of universities for women, the general improvement of the school system was one of Hainisch’s causes. She deplored dry, uninspiring, and gender-specific instruction for girls, favoring coeducation —see for example her Aufwand und Erfolg der Mittelschule vom Standpunkte der Mutter (Input and results of secondary school education from the perspective of a mother, 1904). Hainisch was also active in the abolitionist movement (against state regulation of prostitution); she demanded protective laws and higher wages for working women; campaigned for the appointment of women as factory inspectors and poor relief functionaries; supported the settlement movement, which provided relief (e.g. day-care) and education for working-class mothers; demanded the abolition of the celibacy requirement for female teachers and criticized marriage and family laws, in particular the exclusion of women from guardianship of their own children, the absence of divorce laws and lack of protection for unmarried mothers. In addition to works mentioned above, Hainisch published Ein Mutterwort über die Frauenfrage (A mother’s word on the woman question, 1892), Seherinnen, Hexen und die Wahnvorstellungen über das Weib im 19. Jahrhundert (Prophetesses, witches and delusions regarding women in the nineteenth century, 1896), Frauenarbeit...


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