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348 MORACZEWSKA, Zofia (1873–1958) Social and political activist, publicist and deputy to the Polish Parliament (1919– 1922 and 1930–1935); leader and ideologist of the Liga Kobiet Polskich (Polish Women’s League) (1916–1918), the Związek Pracy Obywatelskiej Kobiet (Women’s Association for Civil Labor) (1928–1933) and the Samopomoc Społeczna Kobiet (Women’s Mutual Aid Society) (1935– 1939). Zofia Moraczewska (nee Gostkowska) was born on 4 July 1873 in Czerniowce, Bukovina (then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire), into an intellectual family. Her father, Roman Gostkowski (1837–1912), was a professor at the Technical University of Lviv; her mother, Wanda born Dylewska (?–1912), was a housewife. They had four children, two of which (both boys) died in their early youth. Zofia spent her first years at home in Lviv. At the age of twelve, she entered Wiktoria Niedziałkowska’s school for girls. The educational atmosphere there had a considerable impact on Zofia’s views, arousing her patriotic feelings, a passion for social work and an interest in the ideas of Darwin, Spencer, Buckle and Kropotkin, as well as in the work of positivists such as Eliza Orzeszkowa and Maria Konopnicka. In 1893, Zofia Gostkowska graduated from the Teachers Seminary in Lviv (today in Ukraine) and took up a teaching post. In 1896, she married Jędrzej Moraczewski (1870–1944), assuming his name. In the same year, she joined the Polish Social Democratic Party in Galicia, to which her husband also belonged. Over the following years they moved house repeatedly, on account of Jędrzej’s job as a supervisor of railway construction works. They were both politically active among workers. When in 1907, Jędrzej Moraczewski became a member of the Austrian Parliament, the couple moved to Stryj, the district from which Jędrzej Moraczewski had been elected (now located in Ukraine; in Poland before World War II; previously part of the Austrian empire). Once settled, Zofia Moraczewski set up educational activities for workingclass women, organizing lectures on Polish history, geography, Polish language and the basics of bookkeeping. She established the Związek Kobiet (Women’s Association ), through which she founded a school for working women, and Praca (Labor); both organizations spread ideas about socialism and Polish independence. She also 349 founded a cooperative bakery and sewing plant in Stryj. The bakery aimed to lower town prices; the sewing plant supplied goods for hospitals. The Moraczewskis had four children (b. 1901, 1903, 1905 and 1907); the youngest son, Stanislaw, died in infancy of scarlet fever. After the outbreak of World War I, Moraczewska joined the Liga Kobiet Galicji i Śląska (Women’s League of Silezia and Galicia), formed in 1915. The Liga Kobiet Galicji i Śląska aimed to involve women in the national independence movement, raise funds for the national struggle, promote national ideas and lend material support to the Polish military formations founded on Austrian territory by Józef Piłsudski. Zofia Moraczewska—straightforward, bold, adamant and decisive, a good speaker and outstanding thinker, as well as a recognized socialist activist whose husband belonged to Piłsudski’s closed circle—was elected Chair of the Liga Kobiet Galicji i Śląska in 1916, after which she moved to Cracow. In 1918, the Liga Kobiet Galicji i Śląska and the Liga Kobiet Pogotowia Wojennego (Women’s League for War Alert, operative in the Kingdom of Poland), joined forces to form the Liga Kobiet Polskich (Polish Women’s League), the first mass organization in Poland, numbering as many as 16,000 members . Although the Liga Kobiet Polskich focused mainly on the issue of national independence , it also fought for women’s rights and played an important role in the women’s emancipation process. It saw women’s public activities—whether related to the exercise of their civil rights or not—as necessary to securing women’s rights in the emerging independent Polish State for which the Liga Kobiet Polskich now struggled. Moraczewska openly articulated the independent goals of the Liga Kobiet Polskich. A statement she made on women’s equal rights as a political aim of the organization, delivered during the Extraordinary Congress of the Women’s League of Silezia and Galicia (held on 1 and 2 February 1917 in Cracow), triggered an adverse reaction from the Roman Catholic Church. An Episcopal letter from May 1917 reproached the Liga Kobiet Polskich’s leaders for interfering in politics and criticized them for advocating women’s independence and ‘radicalism,’ even going so far as to call...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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