Jørgine Anna Sverdrup Krog
20 June 1847
|Died||14 April 1916(aged 68)|
|Occupation||Editor, teacher and politician|
|Known for||Feminist pioneer|
Jørgine Anna Sverdrup "Gina" Krog (20 June 1847 – 14 April 1916) was a Norwegian feminist pioneer, teacher, liberal politician and editor. She played a central role in the Norwegian women's movement from the 1880s until her death, notably as a leading campaigner for women's right to education and the right to vote. Following a visit to England in 1880, where she made contacts within the British suffrage movement, Krog returned to Norway in 1883 and co-founded the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights together with liberal MP Hagbart Berner. Krog was editor for the association's journal Nylænde (New Land) from 1887 until her death in 1916.
In comparison to more moderate feminists in Norway, who chose to focus on gradual economic progress for women, Krog fought for full political rights for women. Krog refused to settle for any less, and was considered radical in her views. In 1885, she came into conflict with Berner over her speeches on women's suffrage, and Berner resigned from the Association for Women's Rights in protest. Krog responded by founding the Women's Voting Association (Kvinnestemmerettsforeningen or KSF), which was run by women only.
During the 1890s, Krog's formal proposal for complete voting rights for women was rejected by the Norwegian parliament, and the failure caused disagreements between Krog and other association members. Krog left and founded the Landskvinnestemmerettsforeningen or LKSF (National Association for Women's Suffrage), which was admitted to the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1904. In 1904, Krog created the Norwegian National Women's Council (associated with the International Council of Women), and chaired this organization until her death. She gave speeches on the Norwegian suffrage movement in Canada and the United States.
Upon her death, Krog became the first woman in Norway to receive a state funeral. Since 2009, the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights has awarded an annual prize in her name for feminist advocates. On March 8, 2013, for International Women's Day, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced that the Dagny oil field would be renamed Gina Krog in her honour.
Early and personal life
Jørgine Anna Sverdrup Krog was born on June 20, 1847, in Flakstad, Lofoten as the daughter of parish priest Jørgen Sverdrup Krog and Ingeborg Anna Dass Brinchmann. Her brother was barrister Fredrik Arentz Krog. After her father's early death, Krog lived with her mother in Karmøy until she was eight years old, and then moved to Christiania. In Christiania she attended a school for girls. As a young adult, she worked as a teacher in private schools for several years, continuing to improve her knowledge of languages and literature through self-study. Through her brother she was aunt of writer Helge Krog and sister-in-law of Cecilie Thoresen Krog.
In 1880, Krog travelled to Great Britain, where she stayed a while at the Bedford College, and made contacts with the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and its leader Millicent Garrett Fawcett. While in Britain, Krog started writing articles and sending them back to Norwegian newspapers, first under pseudonyms, and later under her own name. Her experiences with the British suffrage movement helped her develop her own feminist views. In contrast to the more moderate feminists of the time – who focused on improving the economic conditions of women – Krog's views were radical, demanding full political rights for women. Her goal was women's suffrage in conditions equal with men, without compromise. Upon returning to Norway, in 1883 Krog became a founding member of the first Norwegian women's business club.
Norwegian Association for Women's Rights
Krog co-founded the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights in 1884, together with its first chairman Hagbard Emanuel Berner. The Association initially attracted 220 members, both women and men. That same year, Krog wrote a series of articles on the development of women's rights for the magazine Nyt Tidsskrift, entitled "Nogle ord om kvindesagens utvikling og nærmeste opgaver i vort land". She edited the association's periodical Nylænde (New Land) from its start in 1887 until her death in 1916. In 1885 Berner resigned as chairman, as a protest against Krog's talk Stemmeret for Kvinder.
Women's Voting Association
In December 1885 Krog founded Kvinnestemmerettsforeningen or KSF or (Women's Voting Association), an association only for women. In 1890, however, Krog submitted a proposal for complete voting rights for women to the Storting (Parliament), and it was rejected by lawmakers, being defeated by 114 to 44 votes. In light of this failure, KSF members decided to adjust their goals and fight only for local voting rights instead – a proposal of Berner's. Krog could not agree to this strategy. In 1893, a new suffrage proposal was submitted to the Storting, and although it received more than 50 per cent support from parliament members, it did not reach the necessary two-thirds support it needed to officially create constitutional change.
National Association for Women's Suffrage
By 1898, internal conflicts within the Women's Voting Association had only increased, and Krog left this association and started the Landskvinnestemmerettsforeningen or LKSF (National Association for Women's Suffrage).
In 1899, Krog attended a Congress meeting of the International Council of Women in London, England, where she was named an honorary vice-president of the council, representing Norway. At the meeting, Krog spoke about the connection between peace and the autonomous self-governance of nations, referring specifically to Finland's struggle for independence from the Russian Empire. Krog accepted responsibility for creating a Norwegian branch of the International Council of Women, and began making plans.
Norwegian National Women's Council
In 1904, Krog founded and chaired the Norwegian National Women's Council, a regional branch of the International Council of Women. The branch was notably active the following year, when the Storting held a national vote on the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian National Women's Council campaigned in support of the dissolution, circulating a brochure advocating for Norwegian independence both domestically and abroad. Only men were allowed to cast a vote in the decision, despite calls from women who wanted to participate. On August 13, 1905, the day of the dissolution vote, Krog led female delegates from the most prominent Norwegian women's organizations into the Storting building, informing members of government that thousands of Norwegian women wished to vote their approval of the dissolution. Having organized a nation-wide poll among women, the women handed in a petition with 300,000 names. Krog and her fellow delegates impressed parliament members, and their actions contributed to serious discussions about granting suffrage to women.
In 1913, universal voting rights for general elections were finally granted to all Norwegian women. The Storting vote was unanimous.
Krog was an early member of the Norwegian Liberal Party. In 1909, she was elected a deputy member of its national board. That same year, Krog visited Toronto, Canada, for an International Council of Women meeting. She followed up the meeting with a tour of the United States, where she gave speeches about the Norwegian women's suffrage movement.
Death and legacy
Krog died on April 14, 1916, during an influenza epidemic. She was the first woman in Norway to be honoured with a funeral at public expense. Several female university graduates provided a guard of honour, and the Norwegian mezzo-soprano Bergljot Bjørnson sang. Her funeral was attended by the Prime Minister, the President of the Storting, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A bronze bust of Krog, sculpted by Ambrosia Tønnesen in 1919, is located at her grave at Vår Frelsers gravlund in Oslo.
In the district of Lambertseter in Oslo, there is a street named Gina Krog's Way. The Gina Krog Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights since 2009, is also named in her honour. The prize is given to Norwegian women for their work promoting feminist issues.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gina Krog.|
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