Women Physicians and Their Careers: Athens - 1900-1950: A Contribution to Understanding Women’s History
This article combines history of the family with women’s and gender history and the history of women’s education; it is based on an extensive range of archives and aims at highlighting the attitude of society and families towards women who wanted to attend University studies in the beginning of the 20th century. The matter of women’s university education is directly related to the emergence of the feminist movement in Greece. The strong preference of female university students for the exact sciences at that time was justified by contemporary scholars as a choice reflecting women’s nature. This article highlights the role played by family and social class background. To this effect, the life course of three ‘heroines’ is followed from their initial desire to undertake further studies to their participation in the social and cultural life of the capital of Greece, as a contribution to current literature on gender studies. Despite the limited number of cases discussed, we strongly believe that these women’s upbringing enhances our understanding of women’s scientific pursuits and their place in Athenian elite families.