Women in Rej High School – short abstract

by Aleksandra Wróbel

While we were picking up which subject we would like to write about, we both exactly knew that this one is the best for us. We’re interested in feminism and women rights so we know a thing or two about it. We wanted to learn more about how women lived when they didn’t have the same civil rights as men and how their lives changed when they got it. We are both females and the history of letting women to do more is important for us. Without it, we probably wouldn’t even dream of finding different kinds of fulfillment of our present lives.

In this article we talk about the women who came a long way to make their dreams come true and to educate youngsters properly. We mainly talk about the women who contributed in making our school the

way it functions now.

In November 1918 polish women received electoral rights, as one of the first women in Europe, from the hands of the temporary head of the government, Józef Piłsudski. Piłsudski himself was opposed to the idea of women voting but was convinced by suffragettes protesting outside of his Villa in Sulejówek near Warsaw, and his second wife – Aleksandra, who considered herself a feminist. Later, his decree clearly stated that „a voter is a legal citizen of the country, no matter their sex”. Granting women the electoral rights was a culmination of women’s hard work and the next step towards true democracy.

Ms. Helena Bursche was the first headmistress of Secondary School named after the daughter of swedish king Jan Waza, whose name was Anna Wazówna. The princess was one of the most outstanding women of her era. She also proved that the patriotism does not depend on religion. The headmistress easily gained sympathy among the students thanks to her knowledge, authority and warm vibes that she surrounded her charges with. Although the harmful events related to World War II, she continued her fathers resolutions and run the school under the table. Since 1949 the school society could move to the newly renovated building on Plac Małachowskiego, yet it was still too small for coeducational units.

The main educational aims for teacher’s council were to teach students how to be hardworking, responsible, tolerant, patriotic. They wanted them to be valuable and well-educated members of society. Most of this values are kept to this day and the teachers still wants us to become smart and great people when we graduate.

More up-to-date person is Mrs. Julia Tazbir who started working in Mikołaj Rej’s High School in 1969. During martial law she took part in some events at school that were supposed to have some kind of persuasive elements. At any costs, the teacher’s council wanted to keep the students in school so they wouldn’t stop their education beacuse of politics. During our talk with her for school’s media group, we could see why students liked her.

Most of the teachers, for example: Antonina Powiatowska, Maria Bakkowa, Emilia Rotherowa and Maria Malinowska, kept teaching students with the same aims in mind. They all were very kind, warm and intelligent. They treated their students individually.

Lidia Zonn once said: „Mrs. Malinowska, next to gymnastics, taught us the rules of collective cooperation: companionship, solidarity, toleration, mutual respect… the features that are more and more hard to find in present World”.


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