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370 NINKOVIĆ (Ninkovich), Milica (Todorović, Todorovich) (1854–1881) Prominent journalist and translator; one of the first Serbian feminists; founder (1880) of the first feminist organization of local Serbs in Novi Sad. Milica Ninković was born on 30 January 1854 in Novi Sad (then southern Hungary, now in Serbia), where her father Petar Ninković was a headmaster and teacher at the Serb High School. Since the University of Zurich was the first European university to admit female students, many well-to-do girls from southern Hungary entered its faculties. Together with her sister Anka (1855–1923), Milica studied at the School of Pedagogy from September 1872 to 1874. During her Zurich years, Milica Ninkovi ć was influenced by socialism and feminism. Switzerland was then a center for the European socialist network and the leading place of exile for Russian populists, socialists and anarchists. Ninković, imbued with the ideas of Russian socialism, was especially close to several Russian female revolutionaries devoted to feminist ideas. Many of her future attitudes were also formed through her friendship with the founder of Serbian socialism, Svetozar Marković (1846–1875). In 1874, the Ninković sisters returned from Switzerland to Serbia and decided to settle in Kragujevac. The former capital of Serbia was then a center of national education : the first Serbian lyceum and high school had been established there and it was there that the Ninković sisters planned to open a private high school for women based on modern pedagogical methods. Advertisements for the school were published in local newspapers, but since the Ninković sisters were devoted feminists and influenced by socialism as well, their efforts were soon banned and the sisters themselves threatened with expulsion from the country by the authorities. The two sisters avoided this by marrying two Serbian citizens. Together with her husband Pera Todorović, a famous Serbian journalist and future founder of the Narodna radikalna stranka (People’s Radical Party) who had also studied in Switzerland, Milica Ninković set up the newspaper Staro Oslobođenje (Old liberation ) and edited its supplement. Milica Ninković (right) with her sister Anka 371 During the Serbian–Turkish Wars (1876–1878), Milica Ninković served as a nurse. After the war, she worked for the British legation in Belgrade but the authorities pressurized the British Consul General to have her discharged. Milica Ninković left the country, traveling to St Petersburg, Zurich and Paris, where she studied medicine. Upon her return from the study abroad, Milica Ninković founded (1880) one of the first feminist organizations of local Serbs in Novi Sad. During her second study period abroad, she caught tuberculosis. She died in Kragujevac on 18 November 1881. Her sister Anka Ninković lived in Belgrade, where she worked as nursery-governess. She retreated from public life after the death of her daughter. Milica Ninković’s main interests were the history of feminism, the French Revolution and literature. She knew German, French and Russian and translated several works from Russian and French, among them: Jedna junakinja iz Francuske revolucije (A heroine of the French revolution) by H. Tausinski; Istorija jednog zločina (A history of one crime) by V. Hugo and a Russian translation of S. Marković’s Srbija na istoku (Serbia of the East). Ivana Pantelić Belgrade Women’s Studies and Gender Research Center SOURCES (B) Marković, Ljubica. Počeci feminizma u Srbiji i Vojvodini (The origins of feminism in Serbia and Vojvodina). Belgrade: Narodna misao, 1934. (E) Kecman, Jovanka. Žene Jugoslavije u radničkom pokretu i ženskim organizacijama, 1914– 1941 (Yugoslav women in the labor movement and women’s organizations, 1914–1941). Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1978. (E) Perović, Latinka. Srpski socijalisti XIX Veka (Serbian socialists of the nineteenth century). Belgrade: Službeni list, 1995. (E) Božinović, Neda. Žensko pitanje u Srbiji u XIX i XX veku (The woman question in Serbia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Belgrade: Feministička ’94, 1996. (E) Stojaković, Gordana. Znamenite žene Novog Sada (The renowned women of Novi Sad). Novi Sad: Futura publikacije, 2001. ...


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