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August 17, 2022



Funeral for Jiřina Šiklová to be held tomorrow in Prague

2.6.2021 6:33
Jiřina Šiklová (PHOTO:  David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)
Jiřina Šiklová (PHOTO: David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)

The funeral of Jiřina Šiklová will be held tomorrow, 3 June, at the Church of the Blessed Savior (Nejsvětějšího Salvátora) in Prague. Ms Šiklová's son, Jan Šikl, informed the Czech News Agency of the event.  

People will be able to pay their last respects beginning at 10 AM. Ms Šiklová was a Charter 77 signatory, a promoter of gender studies, and a sociologist who passed away on Saturday, 22 May 2021. 

Ms Šiklová was 85 years old at the time of her death. The ceremony will be for family members and friends and will be addressed by the priest Tomáš Halík.

In 1965, Ms Šiklová was a co-founder of the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, and when she was able to return there after the 1989 Velvet Revolution she initiated the establishment of the Department of Social Work. During the era of normalization she helped with the export of banned literature from Czechoslovakia and with the import of literature authored in exile.

In 1981 Ms Šiklová spent one year in prison for having undertaken that work. After 1989 she advocated for the subjects of gender and the relationship between the sexes to be included in the curriculum of social science faculties all over the Czech Republic.

The first Gender Studies library in the country began in Ms Šiklová's own apartment, and over time it was developed into the biggest library on that subject in Central and Eastern Europe. "I am a watchdog who is involved, who has the feeling something can be changed," she said of herself in June 2015 in an interview for the Czech News Agency. 

Speaking of her activity during the 1970s and 1980s in that interview, she described herself not as a dissident, but as somebody who just did her best to conserve the culture of Czechoslovakia. While she had many reservations about the subsequent developments in the Czech Republic, she was also satisfied with the state of society. 

"There is freedom here, people are able to get involved," Ms Šiklová, who was essentially a realist, said just over five years ago. "That's fine, that's enough for me." 

In her view, none of the systems in the world were ideal and no ideal systems even exist. Ms Šiklová was the author of several books and published in dozens of professional journals. 

In 1995 she received a Women of Europe award, which is given in Brussels to women who have contributed to European integration. Four years after that, Czech President Václav Havel gave her the Medal of Merit. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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