The Call de Girona Board has decided to dedicate, from a historical point of view, the spring 2006 bulletin to women in Judaism. I believe it is an excellent initiative that we should celebrate and be thankful for.
Women, as well as men, make history. Women’s collective experience makes up part of our historical memory and humanity’s cultural heritage. It is not just the best known women who are the most relevant actresses of our history, but all women. There is not, however, a written legacy for women or for men who are historians and who have gathered information on this subject that would allow us to study and learn more about it. Significant discussion on the importance of this history did not start until the twentieth century. That is also when research began that made it possible for us to begin to know how women lived within the course of history.
There are various ways to approach the subject more closely, but they generally follow two prominent trends. On the one hand, an effort is made to add the information that is missing from the historical record in reference to the lives of women to complete it. On the other hand, there is the more radical trend of questioning the traditional historical vision and its androcentrism. It is an attempt to create history from another point of view: a feminist history.
In any case, each of these approaches provides great insight. They do so by overcoming the fact that women were secluded within domestic life and had no possibility of gaining access to public life, which greatly limits our sources of knowledge.
I believe that activities that encourage our knowledge of the history of women deserve our special respect.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the City Council of Girona for the recent municipal project of awarding a grant for historical research into the lives of women in the city. It is an excellent stimulus for advancement in this area. Pia Bosch i Codolà
Territorial Delegate of the Catalan Autonomous Government in Girona