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19. Oktober 2005

Women without Borders at the award ceremony

The Women without Borders Team f.l.t.r.: Marlies Doutlik, Jaleh Lackner-Gohari, Martina Handler, Elisabeth Kasbauer, Edit Schlaffer, Georgina Nitzsche, Sabine Wild.

Käthe Leichter

Käthe Leichter

"We need a lot of Käthes..."

Käthe Leichter-State Prize for Edit Schlaffer

On September 21st Edit Schlaffer, founder and chair of Women without Borders, was awarded with the Käthe Leichter - State prize for research on women and gender.

The State prize as well as the awards of special recognition is in celebration of the life and accomplishments of the socially-active economist Dr. Käthe Leichter.
Her political and socio-scientific engagement brought sustainable advancements for women during the First Republic. She was the founder of the women´s department of the Viennese chamber of labour. She played a crucial role in the women´s central committee of the social democratic party and has published numerous papers.

Käthe Leichter was born in 1895 in Vienna. She studied social sciences at the University of Vienna – for the accreditation she had to take legal action. Because of her activism, she was not allowed to do her doctorate in Vienna and was relocated to Heidelberg/Germany. Moreover, because of her political activities as an opponent of the war, Germany barred her from entry.
Due to a special permit she was finally able to finish her academics. In 1918 she earned her doctorate with honors and went back to Vienna. Because of the betrayal of a police informer, Käthe Leichter was arrested from the Gestapo in 1938. Despite numerous external interventions on her behalf, she was deported to the concentration camp for women in Ravensbrück. Two years later she was murdered in the course of the national socialist euthanasia program in the mental institution Bernburg/Saale.

Today, her trials and travails as a woman and as a political activist are immortalized in the State Prize rightfully coined in her name. Women Without Borders founder Edit Schlaffer is indeed honoured to receive this award and is inspired to do more for women in memory of the bravery and courage of Käthe Leichter.


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