1939 - 2010
The Socialist International Women, SIW, was saddened to learn of the loss of Johanna Dohnal – a committed and courageous Austrian feminist. She passed away on 20 February 2010, only days after her 71st birthday.
From 1979 until 1990 Johanna Dohnal served as the first ever Deputy Minister for Women's Issues in Austria. She was appointed Minister of the same portfolio in 1990 and was chairperson of the Austrian Social Democratic Women from 1987 until 1995.
Johanna Dohnal initiated a series of laws which dramatically changed the situation of women in her country including the criminalisation of domestic violence, as well as rape within marriage, the right of women to have an abortion during the first 12 weeks, along with other laws that benefited women. Johanna Dohnal supported the peace movement, started a campaign to help Nicaragua after the fall of the Somoza regime, and raised her voice against xenophobia and other types of racism.