Krog, Gina (1847–1916)

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Krog, Gina (1847–1916)

Norwegian champion of women's rights. Born Jørgine Anna Sverdrup on June 20, 1847, in Flakstad, Lofoten, Northern Norway; died on April 14, 1916; daughter of a Lutheran pastor; never married.

Gina Krog was born on June 20, 1847, in Flakstad, Lofoten, Northern Norway, a few months after the death of her father, a Lutheran pastor. Her family moved to the capital, Kristiania (Oslo), when Gina was eight years old. Influenced by the writings of Camilla Collett , she became engrossed in the women's movement in the 1870s and '80s; she is quoted as having said that she did not wake up to the cause of women's rights but was born a supporter of the movement. Krog spent some time in England, where she came into contact with British women's organizations, but claimed that it was the struggle of American women for equality that gave her the courage to act.

After some years as a schoolteacher, she resigned from her profession in order to lead the women's movement and to argue the cause in newspaper and magazine articles. Together with journalist Hagbard E. Berner and his wife, she helped found Norsk Kvinnesaksforening (Norwegian Association for Women's Rights) in 1884. "Her well-poised personality and her unswerving confidence helped to disarm criticism and win respect," writes Karen Larsen . The following year, Krog established Kvinnestemmerettsforening (Association for Women's Suffrage), remaining its chair until 1897, when she resigned over the issue of giving voting rights to middle-class women only. Her principles demanded equal rights for all women, and her breakaway group represented rural and working-class women. From 1887 until her death, Krog edited the magazine Nylaende (New Land). On the invitation of the International Council of Women, she established the National Council of Norwegian Women and remained its lifelong chair. These activities took her all over Norway on lecture tours, and to many international conferences. She supported Venstre (the Liberal Party) in politics, and was elected deputy member of its national committee in 1909.

Gina Krog has been described as the unchallenged leader of the women's movement in Norway from 1884 until her death on April 14, 1916, when she was given a state funeral by the Norwegian government.


Aschehoug & Gyldendal's Store Norske Leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget, 1992.

Larsen, Karen. A History of Norway. NJ: Princeton University Press, 1948.

Norsk biografisk leksikon (Dictionary of Norwegian Biography), vol. 8. Oslo: Aschehoug, 1938.

Elizabeth Rokkan , translator, formerly Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Bergen, Norway