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Hedy d’Ancona Delivers Mosse Lecture 2015

by our Editors in Events & Agenda , 07 september 2015

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Former Minister Hedy d’Ancona will deliver the annual Mosse Lecture on September 23, 2015. This year, the title of the lecture is “Voorbij de M/V-maatschappij?” (Past M/F Society?). She will review how since the 1970s, the emancipation of women and homosexuals became part of government policy.

The action group Man Vrouw Maatschappij (Man Woman Society), founded in 1968 by Hedy d’Ancona and Joke Kool-Smit, stood at the basis of the second feminist wave in The Netherlands. It was mostly about the fight against discrimination of women. Without much political upheaval, the “Act Equal Treatment of Men and Women” was passed in 1980, and women started to catch up. Much more complicated was passing the “Equal Treatment Act” (Algemene Wet Gelijke Behandeling (AWGB); 1992-1994), which not only dealt with gender discrimination, but also with discrimination on the basis of, among others, “race” and “heterosexual or homosexual orientation or marital status.”

Hedy d’Ancona, who was closely involved with the act as Minister at the time, does not only look back in the lecture, she also looks forward and asks critical questions. Does the constant updating of the term “sexual orientation,” for instance, really lead to more freedom? Isn’t it about time we give terms, such as gender, a thorough overhaul?

Hedy d’Ancona was born in 1937 and is a social scientist, politician and publicist. She was one of the co-founders of Man Vrouw Maatschappij (1968) and of the “radical feminist” monthly “Opzij” (1972), also working as the editor-in-chief for the monthly up to 1981. After a career in social science, she went into politics. For years, she was a member for the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) of the Dutch Senate, as well as for the European Parliament. As State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment (1981-1982), and as Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports (1989-1994), she was responsible for emancipation. Hedy d’Ancona is Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, and Knight in the Légion d’Honneur. She was also awarded the Harriët Freezer Ring and the Aletta Jacobs Prize.

The Mosse Lecture is an initiative of the Foundation George Mosse Fund for the promotion of gay/lesbian history at the University of Amsterdam. George L. Mosse (1918-1999) was a famous liberal historian of German-Jewish descent. He was affiliated with the University of Amsterdam as a visiting professor of Gay Studies in 1988.

The 2015 Mosse Lecture will be held on
Wednesday September 23 from 17:30-19:30
at the Theater van het Woord,  Public Library Amsterdam (OBA, 7th floor),
Oosterdokskade 143, Amsterdam.

The lecture is co-organized by IHLIA,  more info at



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