All Forint notes have images of famous Hungarian men. However, what if famous Hungarian women’s faces were etched onto the Hungarian currency? Activist and writer Krisztián Nyáry told forbes.hu which Hungarian women could be honoured with this gesture.
She is the first Hungarian female intellectual whose life and work has been well documented. Ráskay was highly educated and came from a noble family. She worked as a librarian and manuscript copier at the Margaret Island Monastery. In addition to translating Latin texts, she also transcribed manuscripts from old Hungarian to a more modern version spoken at the time.
After the 1526 Battle of Mohács, in which Hungarian forces were defeated by the Ottomans, she had to flee Margaret Island with fellow residents. Luckily, she was able to secure the books and manuscripts, which in turn preserved her legacy.
She was the first Hungarian physician, who struggled for 20 years for the right for women to obtain a degree in Hungary. She never relinquished her dream and underwent all the embarrassing procedures at the time so that she could practice her profession. In 1880, she returned to Hungary with her degree from the University of Zürich; however, her certificate was not accepted.
She advocated for women’s rights, and her activism contributed to the Hungarian government’s decree to establish a women’s university in 1895.
She wrote various forms of literature including poetry, novels, audio drama, plays, children’s books, and dramas. She is one of the most well-known Hungarian authors around the world. As Szabó wanted to be a poet, she felt honoured to receive the Baumgarten Prize, the most prestigious Hungarian literary award. However, she only had the award for a few hours as it was later given to a communist poet instead.
Apparently, it was not for political reasons that she did not get the award; they had to give something to the other candidate, and it was easier to remove a woman from the list of winners.
Describing herself as a Christian feminist, she spent her life fighting for women’s rights. After the turn of the 20th century, she entered the convent known as the Szocialista Missziótársulat (Socialist Mission Society), which collected donations for working women and helped them find employment.
She realised that without equal rights, women’s social situation could not be improved. Therefore, throughout her life, she campaigned for women to have the vote.
Featured image: Wiki Commons