10th Barbara Prammer Symposium 2024

Democracy without feminism is no democracy

10:00 - 16:00
Vienna, Austria
10th Barbara Prammer Symposium 2024

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About Barbara Prammer

Barbara Prammer was the first woman to be elected President of the Austrian National Council in 2006. Throughout her life, she devoted herself entirely to her work as a politician, which was shaped by her early life experiences and her roots. She learned early on what it means to grow up as a committed and active woman in the countryside. Be it the “glass ceiling” in community work or being a single parent.

Through the trade union, she joined the youth organisations and fought for free access to the lake in nearby Salzkammergut. She experienced firsthand the heavy historical legacy of Austrofascism. These insurmountable borders between the peasantry and the workers never completely disappeared. What does all this experience have in common? Educating, fighting injustice and paving the way for a just society were her heartfelt concerns. She emphasised that injustice can only be overcome in a true partnership between men and women.

To know more about Barbara Prammer and her legacy, watch this video by Eva-Maria Holzleitner, SPÖ Women’s Chair.

About the symposium

Her concerns are carried forward in the form of an annual symposium with high-level participants. As a feminist start to the year and to commemorate feminist figures such as Barbara Prammerwe organise an annual “Barbara Prammer Symposium” around the birthday of the former president of the National Council and chairperson of the women’s party.

Democracy without feminism is no democracy

“Democratic culture, human rights and solidarity are the basis of our coexistence” – Barbara Prammer

If women‘s rights are called into question, democracy and the rule of law as a whole are called into question. In the spirit of former National Council President Barbara Prammer, we took the 10th Barbara-Prammer-Symposium as an opportunity to gather women across different sectors.

We are all united by our concern for democracy. We see the regression into times long past. Anti-feminist campaigns have been on the rise across the continent. Reactionary male alliances and right-wing, conservative parties are forming against women‘s right to self-determination. Building strong feminist alliances is the only possible way forward: Women from all walks of life ranging from politics to business, arts, culture and the media need to unite and collectively stand up against anti-feminist and anti-democratic threats. In this backdrop, the symposium offered an open discussion space to formulate progressive answers to current challenges: Where do we have and where do we need stronger networking and solidarity? How can we work together to defend democracy and the rule of law?

Paying tribute to and marking our deepest appreciation for the legacy left by Barbara Prammer for the feminist cause in Austria and across Europe, this symposium, therefore, carried the torch of one of her lifelong battles, namely the fight against racist and right-wing extremist movements. Across party lines, we wanted to demonstrate that her words have carried weight and had a lasting impact up until today.

For more information regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact Laeticia Thissen, FEPS Senior Policy Analyst on Gender Equality (laeticia.thissen@feps-europe.eu)

Karl Renner Institut
Social Democratic Party of Austria
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