Aletta Henrïette Jacobs – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs is a feminist icon for being the first woman to successfully finish a university education and also the first woman to become a doctor in the Netherlands, as well as her work for women’s rights, deregulating prostitution, and starting the world’s first birth control clinic.

Needless to say, there was a lot of counter-pressure against the type of change that Jacobs fought for. But over the years she has become an important figure in the eyes of the Dutch people. 

The University Museum of Groningen has a room dedicated to Jacobs’s career and displays some of her items, and several busts and statues are erected in her honor throughout the country. However, perhaps the most special memorial is a plaque at the Amsterdam home where she lived with her husband, Carel Victor Gerritsen. This plaque was placed while Jacobs was still alive, by people who supported her work. 

The plaque was erected by the Association of Citizenesses in 1923, to commemorate the connection between the location and Jacobs. The text roughly translates to: “In this house has lived and worked Doctor Aletta H Jacobs, she was the first woman who obtained the doctor title at a Dutch university and made a path for those who came after her. Women of future generations owe her a great deal of gratitude.” Jacobs died on August 10, 1929.

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The house is a private residence so please do not disturb the owners!

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March 8, 2022

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