Emma Ihrer

Emma Ihrer was a political activist, unionist, and advocate for women’s rights. She died in 1911, a mere seven years before her activism would finally bear fruit (the women’s right to vote in Germany).

In 1885, Ihrer founded an organization dedicated to preserving “the rights and interests of working women”. Even though it was forbidden for women to organize under Prussian law, she worked tirelessly to advocate for equal representation of men and women in trade unions. In 1890, Ihrer was voted, alongside six men, into the leadership of the General Commission of German Trade Unions. She edited the socialist paper “Equality” (“die Gleichheit”) and was buried in the Socialist Memorial section at Friedrichsfelde cemetery in Berlin.

In the late 1980s, the German Post system included Ihrer in their list of “Women of German History”. I can still remember Emma Ihrer featured on the 5-Pfenning stamp from my childhood.

© AdsD / Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Scroll to top