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Bajer, Matilde (1840–1934)

Bajer, Matilde (1840–1934)

Danish feminist. Name variations: Mathilde. Born in 1840; died in 1934; married Frederik Bajer (an influential Member of Parliament).

When John Stuart Mill's Subjection of Women was translated into Danish by leading Danish literary figure Georg Brandes in 1869, the book's subject matter was not lost on Matilde Bajer. In his essay, Mill argued that women were only different from slaves because their masters demanded that they be willing slaves. A leading feminist in the late 19th century, Matilde Bajer, together with her husband Frederik, founded the Society of Danish Women to "improve the intellectual, moral and economic status of women, and make them an active and independent member of the family and the nation." As the Bajers primary goal was to increase economic opportunities for women, they opened a women's trade school in Copenhagen in 1872. In 1886, Matilde founded the Danish Women's Progress Association, a harbinger of the suffrage movement. Members included Marie Rovsig , journalist Caroline Testmann , and Elizabeth Grundtvig , editor of the journal Kvinden og Samfundet (Women and Society).

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