Rue Catherine Schleimer-Kill

Rue Catherine Schleimer-Kill

Political Pioneer, defender of women's rights
Founder of "Action féminine", an organisation for the defence and promotion of women's interests
Birth year
Year of death
Places of residence

Who is she?

Catherine Schleimer-Kill, one of Luxembourg's political pioneers, was born on 19 May 1884 in Esch/Alzette. She was the daughter of the mining worker Henri Kill and Françoise Laux. Catherine Kill trained as a teacher at the Ecole Normale in Luxembourg. After graduating in 1902, she taught at the primary school in the commune of Nommern.

After only five months she left this job. A few years later, she married the teacher Jean Schleimer. This marriage produced two sons, Paul and Leo. For two years, from 1910 to 1912, Catherine Schleimer-Kill taught home economics at the girls' high school in Esch/Alzette.

Dynamic and endowed with a strong personality, Catherine Schleimer-Kill, who was among the first women to obtain a driving licence, was a leading figure in Luxembourg feminism.

From 1919 onwards, she took part in national and local elections on several occasions. Although she was initially a member of the conservative party, differences of opinion on women's rights led to her departure. In 1925, she founded the "Action féminine". The aim was "to combat the unlawfulness of our civil code, to promote public understanding and to remove the barriers to women's rights and to change the law". The "Action féminine" sought to raise public awareness by means of conferences and the publication of a magazine bearing the association's name. As she did not find the desired support from the political parties, Catherine Schleimer-Kill first stood for election to parliament on an independent list and then presented her own all-women list of candidates in the 1928 municipal elections. Although she narrowly missed out on election to the Chamber of Deputies, she was nevertheless elected to the Esch/Alzette municipal council. Throughout her 15-year political career, she devoted herself to women's interests and social issues. Her very active commitment to the promotion of women's rights and interests was the beginning of a long road to equality between women and men.

Catherine Schleimer-Kill died on 18 November 1973 in Esch/Alzette.

Sources :
● Renée Wagener: Frauen aller Stände, beschreitet den Weg der Selbsthilfe, in: Wenn nun wir Frauen auch das Wort ergreifen, Publications Nationales, Ministère de la Culture, 1997, p. 113-131.
● Monique Stein, Monique Laroche-Reeff: Premières femmes dans les conseils communaux luxembourgeois de 1921 à 2004, Luxembourg , CNFL, 2005.
● Nicole Jemming: Frauen an der Macht: über den politischen Einfluss von Frauen in der Escher Kommunalpolitik, von der Einführung des Wahlrechts bis heute: eine Entwicklungsgeschichte, in: 100 Joer Esch: 1906 - 2006, Luxembourg: Binsfeld; 2005 - P. 320-329, ill.

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