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Jiřina Šiklová (1935) - Biography

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Why should I revel in the weakness of person whose situation I wasn’t in?

PhDr. Jiřina Šiklová, CSc., née Heroldová, was born on 17 June 1935 in Prague. In 1958 she completed studies of history, philosophy, and sociology at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague (FACU), where she was later employed as a lecturer. She joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1956 and gave up her membership in 1968. She helped found the Department of Sociology at FACU in 1965. In 1969 she was forced to quit the faculty for political reasons. She then worked as a cleaning lady and social worker at Thomayer Hospital in Prague. In the early 1970s she began organising the smuggling of samizdat literature abroad. She signed Charter 77. Her activities caused her to imprisoned in May 1981, she was released in March 1982 thanks to the publicity surrounding her trial. After 1989 she returned to FACU, where she lectured on sociology and established the Department of Social Work. She has long taken an interest in gender and feminism, she helped found the Library and Centre for Gender Studies in Prague. She was named Woman of Europe in 1995, she was awarded a Czech Medal of Merit in 1999. Jiřina Šiklová has two adult children, and she lives in Prague.

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