The Archive and Research Centre for Women’s History elaborated a biography of Marijke Van Hemeldonck, commissioned by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men. It is the fourth publication in a series of biographies. Earlier publications were dedicated to Jeanne Vercheval, Miet Smet and Eliane Vogel-Polsky.
In the second half of the 20th century, equality at work, in decision making and within the family were important items on the agenda of the feminist movement.
Marijke Van Hemeldock was very active in this struggle for a more equal society. In spite of many obstacles she kept on urging her socialist union and party to stand up for the rights of working and unemployed women, for free acces to contraceptives and for abortion. She also fought for these issues in feminist groups such as Aktiekomitee Gelijk Loon voor Gelijk Werk (Action Committee Equal Pay for Equal Work), het Vrouwen Overleg Komitee (Women’s Consultation Comittee) en LeF (Links en Feministisch / Left and Feminist). Her revolt of the 1960s and 1970s resounds in the articles she wrote in the weekly magazine Links (Left). Marijke Van Hemeldonck was active on the international level as well. She participated in the UN world conferences on women and as a member of European Parliament she helped putting the inequality between men and women on the European agenda.
The book traces the militant track of Marijke Van Hemeldonck, reveals which strategies the women’s movement used to achieve change and how international organisations intervened in the process.
The book is available for free in Dutch and French, at the Institute for Equality of Women and Men (paper edition or download).
E. Flour, Marijke Van Hemeldonck : socialiste et féministe (Marijke Van Hemeldonck : socaliste en feministe), Institut pour l’égalité des femmes et des hommes – AVG-Carhif, 2013.