In an attempt to construct intellectual history of women in Croatia and South-Eastern Europe and to detect ideological changes in understanding of the concept of woman in the 20th century, I intend to discuss, not only origins of modern woman in changing political and social environment in the aftermath of  World War I, but also development of ideas formulated by women in their intellectual endeavors, with their influence and criticism, their hopes and expectations of the new state. My paper will focus on Croat and South Slavic spaces in the process of unification of the State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 (subsequently the Kingdom SHS, Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1929 onwards). The period at in question saw unprecedented involvement of women in political and public life with the aim of achieving political and legal equality. My presentation will offer insight into complex structural changes that took place amidst great economic, social, and political commotion. It will encompass personalities and ideas that challenged the established understanding of women’s  status  and analyze ways and forms of some of their social and public actions. One of the most important individuals among them was Zovka Kveder Demetrović, an author, a journalist and the editor of a prominent women’s magazine Jugoslavenska žena (Yugoslav Woman) and her advocacy of women’s issues will be in the focus of this presentation.

About autor

Andrea Feldman received her MA, M. Phil., and PhD in history from Yale University.  She is Associate Professor of history at the University of Zagreb, The School of Teacher’s Education and  Associate Professor of history and diplomacy (adjunct) at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She edited the first collection of works in women’s/gender history in Croatia: Žene u Hrvatskoj: Ženska i kulturna povijest, (Women in Croatia: Women’s and Cultural History), Zagreb, 2004. She is the author of several books and articles, most recently Imbro I. Tkalac: europsko iskustvo hrvatskog liberala, (1824.-1912.), (Imbro I. Tkalac: European Experience of a Croatian Liberal), Zagreb, 2012. She lectured at universities in the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.


Since October 2018 she has been leading the project “Modern Women Thinkers: Intellectual Development of Women in Twentieth-Century Croatia,” the first women’s history project financed by the Croatian Science Foundation.


As Vice President and International Secretary of the Liberal Party (2000-2004), she worked as the Advisor for Human Rights and Civil Society to the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Croatia in 2000-2003 coalition government. She was executive director of the Open Society Institute – Croatia (2004-2006).