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Hanna Rydh

Swedish archaeologist, politician and women rights activist
The basics
Occupation Prehistorian Politician Feminist Archaeologist
Country Sweden
AKA Hanna Schnittger, Hanna Albertina Rydh
Date of birth Adolf Fredriks församling, Stockholm Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden
Date of death Jun 29, 1964
Spouse: Bror Schnittger Mortimer Munck af Rosenschöld
Political party Liberal People's Party
Authority Library of congress id ISNI id Openlibrary id VIAF id
The details

Hanna Albertina Rydh (12 February 1891 – 29 June 1964) was a Swedish archaeologist and politician for the Liberal People's Party. She was a Member of Parliament from 1943 to 1944 and the 3rd President of the International Alliance of Women from 1946 to 1952.

Hanna Rydh was born in Stockholm to director Johan Albert Rydh and Matilda Josefina Westlund. She was married to fellow archaeologist Bror Schnittger in 1919, and, after his death, to Mortimer Munck af Rosenschöld, the Governor of Jämtland County, in 1929.

Rydh was a pupil at the Wallinska skolan in Stockholm and proceeded studying archaeology at university. She graduated in literature history, archaeology and art history in 1915. Between 1916 and 1930, she made archaeological excavations on Adelsö, and between 1917 and 1921, in Gästrikland. In 1922, she became the first woman to be granted the scholarship of The international federation of university women. When asked if she should be given the scholarship, as she had just became a mother, she famously replied: "my son's birth makes no difference", which was given attention worldwide. She was attaché temporaire at the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in S:t Germain-en-Laye in 1924-1925.

Aside from her work as an archaeologist, she was engaged as a social reformer. Her first assignment was as a member of the central comity of the Sveriges studerande ungdoms helnykterhetsförbund or SSUH (The Swedish Student's Temperance Association) in 1909-1914. About the time of her graduation, marriage and beginning of her professional life in 1919, women in Sweden had only recently achieved equal rights with men, which had been the goal of the women's movement since its start fifty years before, and the new focus of the Swedish women's movement was to use these rights, defy traditional gender prejudices, and proof those who doubted women could handle their new role in society wrong. Hanna Rydh provided an example and role model of the "new woman" who could use her rights as a professional public person and still be a married woman with a family, which she demonstrated particularly during the tenure of her second spouse as governor in 1931-1938, when she performed all the social representational duties of a governor's wife of the time while in parallel being an internationally respected career professional. She was a member of the board of the Sveriges Husmodersföreningars riksförbund in 1936-1941, chairperson of Fredrika-Bremer-förbundet in 1937-1949, second vice chairperson of the Centrala Finlandshjälpen (Finland Relief Society) in 1940, vice president of the International Alliance of Women in 1939-1946, member of the commission of home- and family issues in 1941, the 3rd President of the International Alliance of Women from 1946 to 1952.

She was given the Illis Quorum in 1936.

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