The Baltic Network of Women's History



Throughout history, women have frequently faced marginalization, discrimination, and neglect, both in their daily lives and within historical narratives, despite their significant contributions to society. Our network will serve as a platform to shed light on these historical injustices and to re-examine how the past has been depicted, with the aim of integrating women’s stories into mainstream discourse and popular narratives.

Considering that women constitute approximately half of the population at any given time, it is evident that they have played crucial roles in shaping our communities and societies. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that they receive equitable representation in historical storytelling and will take the right place in the higher education curriculum.

History has demonstrated that when women advocate for change and achieve success, they elevate the standards of inclusion and equality for everyone. Empowering women often leads to the empowerment of those around them, serving as a catalyst for broader societal transformation. Thus, our network will focus not solely on highlighting famous women from history or showcasing how women activists have catalyzed social change but also on the lives of ordinary women whose contribution to the economy, medicine, culture, and education benefited our societies.

While Estonia has very well-developed state and society initiatives in promoting women’s equality and keeping gender issues on the public agenda, still much can be done to promote the historical perspective on women’s lives. In many countries, there are societies, associations, museums, and journals dedicated to women’s history. In particular, the month of March is dedicated to Women’s history in the USA and UK.

An initiative to bring our efforts together came from several women historians who would like to commit themselves to the development of a network dedicated to the promotion of women’s history. Among this initiative group are scholars from the University of Tartu, Dr Janet Laidla and Irina Paert. They would like to invite all who are willing to participate in the first event of the network.

The one-day conference will bring together scholars from Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and the UK. It will take place on 8 April 2024 at the Main Building of the University.