Mon 23 December 2022

Women in the history of the Minett

The Esch women’s movements of the 1920s

These short fictional diary entries by a schoolgirl from Differdange are underlaid by a beautiful collage produced by the artist Benjamin Steiner. Here we can follow her experiences in her new school and gain an insight into topical issues for women’s movements in the 1920s.

In order to build the fictional diary entries of the 14-year-old schoolgirl from Differdange, we used various sources: newspaper articles, diaries from the 1920s from different countries, and archive documents. Several photos and documents from personal archives were also used to create a collage to accompany the diary entries.

The fictitious diary entries not only give us a glimpse into a young girl’s life; they also provide a light-hearted, engaging introduction to topics that were important for the women’s movement of the time. You can listen to the diary entries and watch the collage being assembled at the same time.

Click on “Learn more” if you are interested in gaining a deeper insight into the concerns of women in the Minett in the 1920s, an era that can be seen as a time of awakening for the local women’s movement.


At home with Ketty and Catherine

What was the social role of women in the Minett at the end of the 1940s? Did they find new freedom after the Nazi occupation during the Second World War? Using the medium of a recreated radio show, At Home with Ketty and Catherine, we reflect on women’s lives, their political actions and interests, and their representation in the media.

At Home with Ketty and Catherine is a fictional recreation of a radio show made by women for women, broadcast in the post-war period. Our two charming radio hostesses talk about the dangers of war in connection with their role as mothers, as well as the need for playgrounds in the towns of the Minett. They also offer tips for simplifying household chores. Indeed, in the 1950s, women were mostly seen as mothers who “belonged” to the house.

The medium of the radio show as well its content are based on research into women’s radio programmes and women’s movements of the time. “Women’s pages” in newspapers and readers’ letters from the Minett served as primary sources for Ketty and Catherine’s discussions.

In the accompanying essay you can delve more deeply into historical findings on women in the Luxembourg media, women’s movements in the Minett, the proliferation of anti-war sentiment and the campaign for public playgrounds after 1945. We also focus on the differences between the social role of women in the interwar era and the 1950s: in the latter period, some of the emancipatory achievements of the 1920s and 1930s made way for a rather outspoken conservatism.

Images copyrights
Archives de la Ville d'Esch-sur-Alzette