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463 REUSS IANCULESCU, Eugenia de (1866–1938) Romanian journalist, novelist and teacher; pioneer suffragist and one of the leaders of the Romanian women’s movement; Board member of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship (1926–1935). Eugenia de Reuss Ianculescu was born on 11 March 1866 in Igeşti, Bucovina (then part of the Habsburg Empire), on the estate of the Reuss-Mirza family. She was the daughter of Maria DinottoGusti and Alexandru de Reuss-Mirza, the latter descended from the aristocratic Reuss-Mirza family, which had established itself in Moldova in the fifteenth century. Eugenia received her primary education at the Central School in Iaşi (Moldova), where she became a teacher for a while. She was trained in classics and the arts and traveled frequently to France and Italy, where she was a member of the Hellenic and Latin Association and of two societies for the history of archaeology and art. Education and travel informed Reuss Ianculescu’s later feminist activism, enabling her to gain access to the kinds of transnational communication that scholars have found so crucial for the development of women’s movements. In 1889, as a teacher in Iaşi, Reuss Ianculescu tried to establish a suffrage association . Following that unsuccessful attempt, she embarked upon an individual campaign to raise public awareness of inequities in civil and political law regarding women and men. In 1906, she held a series of public lectures dedicated to her feminist ideas at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, the largest and most renowned cultural hall in Romania. In the first lecture of this series, entitled “Woman’s mission and her future role,” Reuss Ianculescu argued that “the feminist question [lay] at the heart of all social questions” and that it was “a matter as pressing as economic issues” (Reuss Ianculescu 1906, 5). In the years that followed, she gave speeches in many cities throughout the country, arguing for the political and economic emancipation of women and presenting developments in the international women’s movement. During this period Reuss Ianculescu also published several introspective novels: Voinţă (Volition, 1902), nominated for a prize awarded by the Romanian Academy; Spre 464 desrobire (Towards liberation, 1903) and Pentr’o idee (For an ideal, 1904). Spre desrobire was dedicated to her daughter, who died when she was a small child, as the reader is told in a short eulogy at the beginning of the book (information about her marriage is not available). In November 1911, Reuss Ianculescu founded and became President of the Asocia ţia “Drepturile Femeii” (“Woman’s Rights” Association), the first feminist suffragist association in Romania. Founded in Bucharest, with branches in several cities throughout Moldovia and Wallachia, the Asociaţia “Drepturile Femeii” was a leading voice in the feminist struggle for political, civic and economic rights for women between 1911 and World War II. Eugenia de Reuss Ianculescu was nominated as the association’s life-long President in 1923. From 1912 onwards, the Association published the feminist journal Drepturile femeii (Woman’s rights), a tribune for debate and activism that also followed and reported developments in the international women’s movement. In the winter of 1913, the association was renamed the Liga Drepturile şi Datoriile Femeii (League for Woman’s Rights and Duties) and adopted a new statute, which declared that “the association work[ed] for the moral, social, economic and legal emancipation of women” [Drepturile femeii, (June-August 1913): 141]. According to the new statute, the Liga Drepturile şi Datoriile Femeii aimed to agitate for changes in family and marriage legislation, women’s access to the liberal professions, equal pay for equal work, programs for the prevention of child prostitution and equal political rights for men and women. All the demands listed in the statute were also presented to the two chambers of the Romanian Parliament by two male politicians, Theodor Florescu and Constantin Penescu: the first memorandum claiming political and civil rights for women. Another innovation in the organization of the Liga Drepturile şi Datoriile Femeii was the election of a male President, Nicolae Minovici, a legal doctor. This change was in line with Reuss Ianculescu’s tactic of securing the support of influential male politicians, professors and doctors, who were often invited to the meetings of the association. The mixed-sex approach also reflected Reuss Ianculescu ’s philosophy that “woman and man [were] two distinct forces whose qualities and faults complement one another” (Reuss Ianculescu 1906, 9), and that both men and women were engaged...


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