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asked the Universities to give their opinion upon the following two points : Can women be admitted to the University lectures? Can they receive degrees like the male students ?' The St. Petersburg and the Kazan Universities answered both questions decidedly in the affirmative, adding that women must also be admitted to medical practice and degrees, and obtain the right of being teachers in girls' gymnasia. Kharkoff and Kieff recognised that the rights of men and women must be absolutely equalised; but Moscow and Dorpat replied by a peremptory No! However, nothing came out of this correspondence, and we saw that at St. Petersburg women had to act by themselves.

The same was done at Moscow. Public courses for women were opened there, in 1869, by a few gymnasia teachers. The aim of these courses (which were known as the .Lubyansky Courses ') was to bring the women's education to the level required by the boys'classical gymnasia programme. Three years later Professor Guérié was permitted to open, on his own responsibility, high courses for women. All subjects which were taught at the historical and philological faculty of the University were permitted to be taught, on the condition that this should be an entirely private institution. In fact, the managing council of the courses was composed of women under Professor Guérié's presidency, and all expenses were covered by the students' fees and by private subscriptions. The Moscow Municipality subscribed 50l. a year. In 1882 the 'Lubyansky Courses' were transformed into a physical and mathematical faculty, with a four years' curriculum. Moscow thus had its ladies' University.

At Kazan things went very much the same way. Special high courses for women were opened in 1876, under Professer Sorokin's management; the lectures were delivered in the evenings in the University building, and 575 women attended them. The professors were only paid what was left after all other expenses, and mostly returned their fees in the shape of subscriptions.

At Kieff, University lectures for women were opened in 1878. They were divided into two faculties, mathematical and historicophilological, and the curriculum was of four years' duration. By 1886 no less than 1,098 women had passed through these courses.

At Odessa, Kharkoff, and Warsaw, the Government did not allow any feminine courses to be opened; while the Finland University at Helsingfors, on the contrary, simply opened its doors to women.



The medical education of women took a somewhat different

The Medical Academy at St. Petersburg is under the Ministry of War, and during the reign of Alexander the Second the Minister of War was D. Milutin, a very well-educated and liberal

minded man, whose wife and daughter took the liveliest part in all the movement for women's education. Besides, as I have already mentioned, the veteran Professor Gruber—a passionate anatomistasking nobody's permission, and acting upon his own responsibility, admitted women students into his anatomical laboratory. It must also be said that the necessity of having lady doctors for the women population of the Empire, both Russian and Mussulman, was so selfevident that the usefulness of medical training for women was widely understood.

Consequently, a special Medical School was opened for women in 1872 at the Military Medical Academy. A gift of 5,0001., which was made by the daughter of a Siberian gold miner, L. Rodstvennaya, facilitated this step. The Minister of War obtained permission for the ladies to practise at the military hospital of the St. Petersburg garrison, while the Prince of Oldenburg offered his own hospital for children's diseases. It was thus under the patronage of the Ministry of War that the first Medical University for women was created. But the Government would not allow that it should go under its proper name, and christened it a

School for Scientific Midwives.' The incongruity of the name of this new sort of military institution did not escape witty criticism.

I need hardly say that all sorts of limitations were imposed upon these courses by the Ministry of Public Instruction. From the very beginning the ladies had obtained that all subjects should be taught exactly to the same extent as they were taught to male students, and that the yearly examinations should be exactly the same; but only in 1876, at the approach of the Turkish War, were the ladies allowed to stay full five years at the Academy, like the male students. Only judicial medicine was excluded from the programme, but in return the women's and children's diseases were studied more extensively than they are studied by men students. With all that, women could get only the degree of a 'Learned Midwife.' After having passed examinations which would have entitled a man to the M.D. degree, they did not even obtain the right of signing a prescription, and thus had, in their practice, to send their prescriptions to be signed by some graduate doctor friend (the chemists' shops in Russia are under a severe control of the State). Nor were they allowed to occupy any responsible position in the civil or hospital service. Were it not for the support which they found, almost as a rule, from their male colleagues, their position would have been reduced to that of a trained nurse.

But now that women had conquered the right to higher medical training, they accepted all unfavourable conditions enforced upon them. The school soon had as many as 1,000 students. Time has proved that women were quite right in so doing. They won the respect of both the professors and the men students for the earnestness of their work; and as soon as some of them had completed their studies, the Zemstvos (County and District Councils) invited most of them to occupy the position of Zemstvo's doctors, under the modest name, for the official world, of a Zemstvo's midwife. There, in the poor surroundings of peasant life, bearing almost incredible fatigue in struggles against the diphtheria, cholera, and typhus which ravage Russian villages ; spending their life in journeys, in peasants' carts, from village to village in a district which often is fifty or sixty miles across, most of them gained the deepest sympathies of the population.

The first lot of learned midwives passed their examinations on the eve of the Turkish War of 1877, and great numbers of them, following the general enthusiasm of that year, went to the army hospitals. The Government, this time, gladly accepted them as doctors in the field hospitals, although it continued to refuse them that same title when they fought against epidemics in the country. What these women were worth on the battlefields and in the typhusstricken hospitals is sufficiently known through the English war correspondents, and can be best seen from the report of the Chief Medical Department which was made immediately after the war. In this report the Medical Department spoke in the highest possible terms of the activity of women during the war, and concluded by expressing its regret that the military cross of St. George can only be awarded to men ; otherwise it would have asked to decorate for gallantry several of the lady doctors who were with the army in Bulgaria.

The services rendered by women during the war carried away the last obstacles, and in 1880 they were allowed to obtain the degree of · Woman Doctor. They could really say that they had conquered it in the field of battle.


In the year 1886 there were thus in Russia four University courses for women in connection with the four chief Universities, and a Medical Academy. Without imposing any burden whatever upon the State's Budget, Russia was thus endowed with five higher educational institutions for women; and had they been left freely to develop we should have had by now seven or eight women's Universities. This was evidently too good; and consequently, in 1886, all high courses for women, and the Medical Academy as well, were closed with one stroke of the pen by a simple Ministerial order. A few students had been implicated in political agitation ; they were very few indeed, but that gave the long looked-for pretext. The Empress Marie was no more, and the Empress Marie Dagmar, who has her own opinion on women's education, did not interfere with that measure-if she were not, as rumour puts it, its instigator.

The lady students who had already gained admittance were allowed to finish their studies, but no more new ones were admitted. Thousands of women were thus again deprived of all means to get higher or professional training in their mother country. And again the Russian women did not bend before that stroke. They began anew the same agitation which they had carried on for more than twenty years—and very soon the Government had to recognise that what Russian women will have they will have.

In the meantime, once more, all those who could scrape together thirty or forty shillings a month went abroad. (I knew many lady students in Paris who had either 60 francs a month or 100 francs for two living together; the misery and the powers of endurance were especially great among the Jewish lady students.) ) The Universities of Bern, Zürich, Geneva, Paris, and Liège soon became crowded with Russian women; they went even to Finland, where the teaching is in Swedish, and to Italian Universities. But this time the number of them was incomparably greater than it was in 1872. Seeing that new emigration, the Government hastened to make new promises, and to publish, in 1889, the normal statutes of the future women's Universities. This was applied, however, at St. Petersburg only. It must be said that it is a statute with a vengeance. The Society for the Support of the High Courses has to find all the means for the expenses, but it has no voice in the management. The number of admissions was limited to 400, and a special paragraph was directed against the Jews, only 3 per cent. of non-Christian students' being received. The poor provincial students were, de facto, excluded, those lady students who had no parents or relatives to stay with in the capital being bound to live in a college where they had to pay 300 roubles a year, in addition to the students' fees, which were raised to 100 roubles, while they are only 60 roubles in the male Universities.

With all that the number of students desirous to gain admittance was so great that the limitation to 400 had soon to be extended to 500, and then to 600. This year (1897) there are 695 students, and yet 212 women, who were ready to comply with all the regulations and pass all the examinations, were refused. All the expenses, with the exception of 300l. contributed by the State (exactly the wages of the Honorary Director appointed by the Government), are covered by the Society, and they now obtain 10,8001. a year.

As to the Medical Academy, the further admittance of students was stopped in 1887, under the pretext that the further existence of the Academy_which had lived full fifteen years on the fees and the private subscriptions—was not guaranteed. But that was too much, even for Russia. There were by that time already 698 ladies who had obtained the degree of 'woman doctor;' 178 of them held official positions in hospitals and schools; and they could not all be wiped off from Russian life. Subscriptions for reopening the courses came in from municipalities and private persons, and again a deep agitation began on the same lines as fifteen years before. The result is that the Society for the Support of the Medical Courses' is said to have now 700,000 roubles (70,0001.) in hand, and a guaranteed yearly income of 4,0001. The Academy is thus going to be reopened next autumn. But there are rocks ahead. The Government's decision is that, when the “Society for the Support of the Medical Courses' shall have collected the money which is necessary for the independent existence of the Academy, the lady organisers of that Society will be brushed aside, and the old enemy of all education in Russia—the Ministry of Public Instruction will take the women's medical school in its hands. Besides, the doors of the Academy are closed for all'non-Christian students.'

This is how matters stand now, after such a tremendous amount of energy spent and heavy sacrifices made, for thirty years in succession, in order to obtain access to higher knowledge and science, These sacrifices were too great for reaction to stop the Russian woman in her strivings towards a higher intellectual life. Our women have proved that they are strong enough to struggle against the prejudices of society, against family despotism, against misery, and against a despotic Government.


6 When the subscription was opened, the Government asked the opinion of the chief at St. Petersburg as to the advisability of reopening the Academy. The latter referred the question to the Municipality, which unanimously passed a resolu. tion to the effect that a yearly subsidy of 15,000 roubles for the Academy be granted. Moreover, the Municipality conceded the use of one of its buildings, and expressed its readiness to open the Municipal hospitals for the use of the students. This vote was based on the following considerations :

* In the year 1882 the Municipality invited five lady doctors to visit the primary schools, and to give medical help to the children. The results were excellent. The five ladies divided among themselves all the schools of the Municipality, and regularly visited them in turns. The epidemics of diphtheria and scarlet fever which broke out in 1882–3 induced the Municipality to invite six more lady doctors. At the same time, a typhus epidemic having broken out, seven more lady doctors were invited, for visiting the fever dens and slums. This measure proved most successful. The seven ladies still remain in the service of the Municipality, as it appeared that women, as a rule, prefer to apply to lady doctors.'

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