in the Volksgarten
On 28th August 1848 the noble-woman Caroline von Perin-Gradenstein (1808-1888) founded the first “Viennese Democratic Women’s Association” whose members would regularly meet at the Volksgarten-Café. Founded in response to the Revolution of 1848, the association aimed at establishing equal rights and access to education for women. Also, its statutes defined the spread of democratic principles as one of its objectives. As such, the association marked the beginning of women’s rights movement in Austria.
Statutes of the first Viennese Democratic
Women‘s Association 1848 (Excerpt)
Article 1—The name of the association is: Viennese Democratic Women’s Association.
Article 3—The association shall consist of active (female) and supporting male and female members.
Article 7—Only women of good character and a free-thinking disposition can be members, both active and supporting. Should it happen, against all hope, that a member has joined who does not meet these criteria, she can be excluded by a majority vote.
Article 8—Gentlemen can be included in the meetings as honorary members only by way of exception, but they must refrain from voting.
Article 10—No differences in social rank shall exist among the members. The form of address is simply ‘Mrs.’ [Frau] and ‘Miss’ [Fräulein]. Married women take no precedence over unmarried women.