This article is from an o.a. blog post from Arina Angerman. It has been lightly edited. WHN Admin.
a.o. thanks editors Myriam Everard and Francisca de Haan, Atria (Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History) and publisher Brill for the opportunity to read this amazing collective biography of Essays, Pictures and Documents about Rosa Manus (1881-1942) The International Life and Legacy of a Jewish Dutch Feminist Leiden 2017. (Comment 1)
In this blog I focus on Rosa Manus as board member of International Alliance of Women. Rosa Manus was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 and part of her archive returned from Moscow to Amsterdam in 2003. (Comment 2)
The editors are famous experts of gender history and feminists! Myriam Everard Ph.D (1994) is an independent scholar lately focusing on first wave feminism. Francisca de Haan Ph.D (1992) is Professor of Gender Studies and History at the Central European University. She has published widely on the history of the international women’s movement. (Comment 3)
International Alliance of Women (IAW)
You can read in this ‘collective biography’ about Rosa Manus many different herstories! I read the Introduction: Recovering the Legacy by Francisca de Haan and two inspiring Essays , the Bonds of High-Financial Womanhood by Mineke Bosch and Rosa Manus in Cairo 1935 & Copenhagen 1939 by Margot Badran. (Comment 4)
In the Index there are many, many pages about IAW and their branches in Brasil, Egypt and Germany and their congresses in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.
Rosa Manus in the 30’s
Together with the president of the Egyptian Feminist Union Huda Sha’rawi Rosa Manus became member of the board of IAW in 1926. “Interactions between Manus and the Egyptians in Cairo and Copenhagen within the context of the IAW brought to the fore two dimensions of international feminism in the inter-war period … the warm and collaborative … and the tense and conflicted … when centrifugal forces and realities of politics denied, both colonial and nationalist [viewpoints].” (page 185)
Rosa Manus and Huda Sha’rawi both were born into wealth of a Jewish (1881) and a Muslim (1879) family and received an excellent education. Both were members of the Alliance Committee for Peace and the League of Nations. (page 188) …
Margot Badran: “The IAW western leadership could not, or would not, recognize its colonial cast or what later [was] identified as ´imperial feminism´…“ (page 200) “The IAW president during the interwar years, Corbett Ashby, would admit to me (Margot Badran) in 1971 that the notion that women would be better at keeping the peace (natural peace makers) was their largest illusion. “ (page 201) Rosa Manus in a letter to Carrie Chapman Catt, 31 July 1939, “… the Jewish question was not the matter but only the Palestine-Jewish question.” (page 204)
In Part 2 there are beautiful words by Myriam Everard and analysis of the pictures in detail.
** On page 302 you can see IAW’s first president Carrie Chapman Catt and Rosa Manus in 1909 at the London Congress of IWSA (International Woman Suffrage Alliance). (Comment 5)
** On page 320 is a beautiful Studio Portrait of ‘grande dame’ Rosa Manus 1928 by Jacob Merkelbach in Amsterdam.
** On page 326 Rosa Manus in the ‘pose of a business-woman communicating with the world over the phone’ by Erna Lendvai-Dircksen in Berlin 1929 (25th Jubilee’s Congress of the Alliance).
** On page 339 Press photo of the IAW Board meeting at the IAV offices in Amsterdam 1936 with handwritten names by Rosa Manus.
I want to conclude this blog with a storytelling & a clearifying quote by Francisca de Haan:
“Rosa Manus’s feminist career started at the 1908 Congress of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where she worked as a ‘page’ and was immediately spotted for her talents and dedication. For three decades, she took up important positions in national and international groups concerned with women’s suffrage and emancipation and world peace.” (page 3) …
“She (Rosa Manus) was arrested as a political opponent of the Nazis and detained in political prisons, but, in the end, murdered as a Jew. Both dimensions deserve to be recognized.” (page 21).
Comment 1: Publisher Brill hardback ISBN 978-90-04-33317-8.
Comment 2: Rosa Manus also was o.a. a co-founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in 1915 and the International Archives for the Women’s Movement (IAV) in 1935.
Comment 3: My focus in the 80’s was women’s history and feminism. I personally know Francisca de Haan & Myriam Everard since that time. I attended a.o. celebrations of the International Archives for the Women’s Movement (IAV) in Amsterdam in 1985 (50th) and 2015 (80th).
Comment 4: I choose to read the Essay by Margot Badran a.o. because Hoda Chawari Association, Egypt, still is a member organization of IAW.
Comment 5: IAW becomes the formal name in 1949. Centenary edition of IAW in 2014. You can download a pdf at the International Alliance of Women page at Wikipedia.
Arina Angerman is a social entrepreneur Social Media 4 Boomers (website in Dutch) and writes a.o. blogs at angermaneuropa.blogspot.com ‘Internet & Financial independence for women – #lifelonglearning’.
Arina represents the International Alliance of Women (IAW) in the Board of European Women’s Lobby (EWL) since October 2014.