FrauenORTE Lower Saxony: Making Women’s History More Visible |

Status: 23.04.2022 10:12 paradite

The FrauenORTE initiative recognizes the achievements of women in culture, politics and science. Friederike Apelt project coordinator talks about the current importance of the initiative and new projects.

The life and work of women in history has received much less attention than that of men. As early as the 1970s, the field of women’s history was developed into historical studies, which specifically addresses women’s achievements and their position in various areas of life. Lower Saxony State Council for Women is pursuing a similar approach to the initiative femraVENDET. The achievements of women in the political, cultural, social, economic or scientific fields are nationally recognized. Since the launch of the initiative, 47 ORTE of women have been set up across the state.

Why is the FrauenORTE initiative still important in 2022?

Friederike Apelt: Our initiative is about making women’s history and culture more visible, because it still happens that it lags behind. Not much is known about the achievements of women in the past. For a long time there was no research on this in historiography – it was not an issue for a long time and it only came out in the 1970s with the women’s movement. Women wondered why men only talk about men and not about what women have achieved. This is very, very significant, but not well documented. Much work has been done since then, but it is still the case that the achievements of women are not as visible as those of men. This is the idea of ​​the initiative: to make it visible – in the region and throughout Lower Saxony – and to link it to today’s topics. If you look at our protagonists at FrauenORTE, you can see that there is still work to be done in many areas in terms of gender equality. You can very well build a bridge there.

What is the unique selling proposition of your initiative?

Apple: Diversity. We have brought together many very different women and also regional peculiarities in the initiative. It also has to do with homage to women, which is played very differently in the country. We have our cooperation partners in the country, who bring this to life with different offers. This can be very different – depending on what suits the woman: for female painters, for example, art exhibitions or something similar.

They always try to find current contact points. Can you give an example?

Apple: Equality and political participation of women are always key issues during state elections. This can be found in some FrauenORTEN, but also debates about paragraph 219a, ie the ban on advertising for abortions. There are women who have dealt with it, like Hermine Heusler-Edenhuizen. She was the first German gynecologist and was also involved in abortion legislation. Sure, some of them were completely different contexts from today, but you can draw a connection with today.

There are now 47 FrauenORTE in Lower Saxony – new ones are added every year. How exactly does this work?

Apple: Local co-operation partners can apply to us with a suggestion. It then goes through an evaluation process in which our advisory board takes a position on it. It then goes to our board, which decides whether to accept or reject it. For every new FrauenORT that is added, there is a launch event with an opening ceremony. The first one opened in 2008 – it was Anita Augspurg in Verden.

Who is applying for you?

Apple: These are mainly officials for equal opportunities of municipalities, but in some cases also museums, tourist information or other municipal institutions. They often collaborate with others in the country. It is very important for us that FrauenORTE anchors well locally and has wide legs. In some cases, clubs or working groups have been formed to demonstrate this.

You’ve been here for a year now. How do you perceive this: Were FrauenOrte created?

Apple: There is a large base of fans and people who have been following the development for a very long time and you can say that this network is growing. Many are also happening in the region: In Ostfriesland we have some FrauenORTE. They are well connected to each other and have created a model region called “Women live in Ostfriesland”. Almost every month there are events related to the ORTE of women. It is then that he realizes that he does a lot.

Will the new FrauenORTE be added this year?

Apple: Yes, in October we will open a new FrauenORT for Braunschweig Mayor Martha Fuchs. This is a big moment this year, precisely because it has been very difficult to do events in the last two years. So the opening of the new FrauenORTE could not be celebrated with big celebrations.

The conversation was moderated by Anina Pommerenke.

additional information

In more than 40 countries, the “frauenORTE Niedersachsen” initiative commemorates special women who have changed their existence. more

An open book shows a photograph of freedom fighter Eleonore Prochaska.  © NDR

Eleonore Prochaska, disguised as a soldier, fought against Napoleon’s troops – and died in Dannenberg. The State Council of Women has already added the city to the list of “WOMEN’S PLACES”. more

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