Since March 2019, pink street-name signs have been appearing all over Geneva, affixed right underneath the usual blue signs. What are these plaques that bear the names of women who have influenced Geneva and left their mark on the international city?
Only 7% of streets in Geneva are currently named after women, which is what the 100 Elles project is responding to. In an effort to bring visibility to women in History and public space, the movement is temporarily renaming streets in Geneva, to honour women who have made historical contributions to the city and canton of Geneva. All of them respond to the criteria needed to have a street in Geneva named after them.
Left: Marie-Thérèse Maurette at Ecolint circa 1929. / Right: The street sign in her honour in Geneva. (© Suzy1919 — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Among the 100 women featuring in this project, two are intimately linked to Ecolint.
- Marie-Thérèse Maurette, Director General of Ecolint from 1929 to 1950, left an important mark on the school, pioneering ideas such as bilingualism and co-education at Ecolint as early as the 1930s. She was also the one to push for including international history and culture classes into the curriculum.
- Jeanne Hersch taught at Ecolint for no fewer than 23 years, from 1933 to 1956, before being appointed professor of philosophy at the University of Geneva - the first woman in that university to achieve such a distinction.
Left: Jeanne Hersch at the first Student League of Nations in 1953. / Right: The street sign in her honour in Geneva. (© Suzy1919 — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0)