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Anna Hierta-Retzius

Anna Wilhelmina Hierta-Retzius (1841–1924), was a Swedish women's rights activist and philanthropist.

She was the daughter of Lars Johan Hierta, the founder of the paper Aftonbladet, and Wilhelmina Fröding and married to the scientist Gustaf Retzius, with whom she was active in social and scientific projects.

She co-founded Föreningen för gift kvinnas äganderätt (The Married Women's Property Rights Association) together with Ellen Anckarsvärd (1873), referred to as the first organized Swedish women's movement. She was also known for her many social projects and the instigator of many organisations for social issues such as education and social work. In 1887, she founded the first working cottage in Stockholm: a place where poor children could come during the afternoon to learn various handicrafts; this project grew to over 100 such cottages all over the nation. In connection to them, the teacher Sofi Nilsson co-founded with her an education of Family and consumer science for girls by letting them cook for the cottages (1889). She initiated a reform of better housing for employees according to the system of Octavia Hill (1889).


  • Österberg, Carin et al., Svenska kvinnor: föregångare, nyskapare (Swedish women: Predecessors, pioneers) Lund: Signum 1990. (ISBN 91-87896-03-6)

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