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498 SHABANOVA, Anna (1848–1932) Russian doctor (pediatrician); founder and Chairwoman of the Russkoe Zhenskoe Vzaimno-Blagotvoritel’noe Obshchestvo (Russian Women’s Mutual Philanthropic Society); Honorary Vice-President of the International Council of Women (1913– 1918). Anna Nikolaevna Shabanova was born in 1848, to a noble but not particularly wealthy family from the Smolenskaia guberniia (oblast or region of Smolenskaia ). Detailed information on her relatives is lacking, except for the fact that during the reforms of the 1860s, her family was financially ruined [according to the 1897 Spisok Dvoryanskih Rodov, Vnesennyh v Rodoslovnye Dvoryanskie Knigi Smolenskoi Gubernii (List of noble genealogies for the region of Smolenskaya), the family had lost all its real estate]. Anna Shabanova thus had to earn her own living from an early age (at fifteen). Having received a good education at home, later attending finishing school, she began working as a governess and translator. It is likely that around this time she decided to enter the medical profession. In the early 1860s, Shabanova moved to Moscow, where she became acquainted with the socialist radicals of the so-called ‘Ishutin circle’ (named after the leader of the circle, N. A. Ishutin), which had regicide as its primary objective. Anna Shabanova was very much taken with these revolutionary ideas and joined one of the secret units of the Ishutin circle, operating under the auspices of a women’s sewing workshop. Following Dmitry Karakozov’s assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II (April 1866), the ‘Ishutin circle’ was destroyed by police. Shabanova was arrested and sentenced to solitary imprisonment. Six months later, having collected the payment sum, Shabanova’s relatives stood bail for her and she was discharged. It appears that this prison experience contributed greatly to Shabanova’s personal development and worldview, since she never returned to radical politics again. Although Shabanova graduated from a finishing school, she didn’t receive a leaving certificate. In order to test her own knowledge, Shabanova sat an examination at Moscow University in 1866 and became the first woman in the history of the university to pass in Latin. After being refused admittance to the Medical Academy of St Petersburg however, her aspirations for higher education remained unsatisfied. Shaba- 499 nova returned to Smolensk, where she participated actively in the all-Russian campaign for women’s higher education, collecting (according to her own texts) over four hundred signatures from women for a petition demanding that women be admitted to Smolensk University. In 1870, thanks to the patronage of eminent writer Mikhail Evgraphovich Saltykov-Shchedrin, Shabanova gained a Literary Fund scholarship to attend Helsingfors University (now Helsinki, Finland). The only woman to apply to the university, Shabanova suffered many hardships during this period: lack of money, starvation, excessive academic expectations and the taunts of male students. In 1873, Shabanova returned to Russia in order to enroll on the Vysshie Zhenskie Vrachebnye Kursy (Higher Women’s Medical Courses) in St Petersburg, opened a year earlier. Since she had spent two years at Helsingfors University studying natural sciences , she was admitted to the second-year program of the Courses and graduated in 1878. She became the first woman pediatrician to work in the hospitals of St Petersburg ; she also set up health services for children, carried out her own research and taught medicine in women’s high schools and in the Smolnyi Institute for young ladies . She translated numerous works on medical subjects and authored over forty academic texts, including her pioneering research treatise on children’s metabolism: “Kolichestvo mocheviny, vydeliaemoi v razlichnyh periodah detskogo vozrasta pri normalnyh usloviiah i pri razlichnoi diete” (Amounts of urea excreted at different stages of childhood development under normal circumstances and under different diets, 1879). By the time she spoke at the Third Russian Medical Congress (St Petersburg, 1899), Shabanova was regarded as a respected pediatrician and social activist—widely known as “Doctor Shabanova.” One of the first generation of women medical students, Shabanova came up hard against all the obstacles and biases commonly faced by women doctors and so decided to devote her life to advocating women’s rights. As soon as she had graduated from the Women’s Medical Courses, Shabanova championed women’s right to work and be acknowledged as attending physicians. It was largely due to her efforts that in 1880, Tsar Alexander III granted a special badge with the abbreviation ”ZhV” (ZhenshchinaVrach : Woman Doctor) to graduates of the Women’s Medical Courses, as a mark of respect to be observed by male colleagues. Shabanova always...

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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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