It’s international Women’s Day today! Some might not know, but Montessori was an advocate for Women’s Rights. Let’s see briefly in what way was she contributing to women’s and children’s lives:
- First of all, Maria Montessori became the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree in 1896. She started her own private practice and she was also chosen as a Chair In Hygiene at the Women’s College in Rome.
- In 1896, Montessori represented Italian women at the International Conference for Women’s Rights in Berlin. She spoke about working women and requested reforms to change the inequality between the wages of women and men. After this occasion she was considered as an influential feminist spokesperson in Italy.
- Montessori was invited to give a talk at the same conference 4 years later. This time she spoke for Children’s Rights, or to be more precise, for the elimination of child labour.
- In 1907, Montessori opened her own school for poor, 'mentally disabled' children. She called it Casa dei Bambini (Children's House). Educating and having promising results with children who were previously considered disabled, brought Montessori huge success and her method was widely acknowledged in Italy.
- Montessori refused to fulfill Mussolini’s demand to raise children as soldiers in 1933. Shortly after all Montessori schools were closed in Italy and Montessori left the country.
What an inspiring woman!