Betzy Kjelsberg

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Betzy Kjelsberg.

Betzy Alexandra Kjelsberg[1] (1 November 1866 – 3 October 1950), born Betzy Aleksandra Børresen,[2] was a Norwegian politician for the Liberal Party, being the first female board member of the party, Norway's first female factory inspector from 1910–1936, and a member of the feminist movement. Kjelsberg was born in Svelvik, Vestfold. Her father was Norwegian, while her mother was from Scotland. After her father died, the family moved to Drammen, where Betzy's mother married a merchant from the town. However, he had to close his shop, forcing them to move to Christiania (today Oslo). While living there, she started her examen artium, as one of the first women in Norway to do so, but she never actually finished it due to the poor economy of her stepfather. Instead, she fell in love with Oluf Fredrik Kjelsberg, a jurist, with whom she had six children.[3] Kjelsberg is the great-grandmother of Siv Jensen, the leader of the Norwegian Progress Party.[4]

In 1883, she founded the discussion group Skuld. Kjelsberg created the organizations Kvinnelig Handelsstands forening (1894), Drammen Kvinnesaksforening (1896), with its own housewife school, Drammen Public Health (1899), and Drammen Women's Council (1903). She was a co-founder of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights (1884), the National Association for Women's Suffrage (1885), which worked for giving women the right to vote, and was a member, and, at a point, the leader of the Norwegian National Women's Council (1904).[3] From 1926–1938, she was the vice-president of the International Council of Women.[2]


  1. ^ Store Norske Leksikon (2000). "Betzy Alexandra Kjelsberg" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  2. ^ a b "NorgesLexi - Norsk politisk dokumentasjon på Internett!" (in Norwegian). NorgesLexi. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b Gunhild Ramm Reistad. "Betzy Kjelsberg (1866-1950)" (in Norwegian). Norsk Kvinnesaksforening. Archived from the original on September 26, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  4. ^ Aurdal, Martine (2006). Siv: portrett av en formann. Kagge forlag. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Agerholt, Anna Caspari (1973). Den norske kvinnebevegelses historie. Gyldendal. ISBN 8205058776. 


  • Kjelsberg, Betzy Alexandra; Gunnar Jahn; Tove Mohr; Sigrid Stray (1935). Kvinnens sosiale stilling. J.M. Stenersens forlag.