Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 9 am
The Epic of Frauenbank Berlin

Narrated by Gilla Dölle (political scientist, co-founder of the Archive of the German Women’s Movement, Kassel) – Online Program
In German

The Berliner Frauenbank [Berlin Women’s Bank] was one of the first credit institutions in the world run exclusively by and for women. Even before women in Germany gained the right to vote and attend the stock exchange, the cooperative bank promoted the financial empowerment of women in various ways from 1910 to 1916. In addition to regular banking services, Frauenbank employees offered free legal and credit advice, organized lectures and cultural events, and for a time produced the magazine Frauenkapital – Eine werdende Macht [Women’s Capital: An Emerging Power], published by the bank’s own publishing house. Despite the bank’s brief existence, its history is emblematic of forms of economic exchange based on solidarity.

Political scientist Gilla Dölle relates the ambitions, conflicts, and challenges that accompanied the pilot project. Dölle has been researching the financial background of the German women’s movements for several decades and dedicated her publications, lectures, and initiatives to remove the taboo from the topic of women and money. Irena Haiduk’s collaboration with Dölle builds on the artist’s efforts to rethink economic contexts and anchor them in collective memory using the strategies of oral history.


Gilla Dölle (*1955 in Kassel) studied social sciences and religious studies with a teaching certification at Gesamthochschule Kassel. She has initiated various women’s and cultural projects, including co-founding the Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel [Archive of the German Women’s Movement in Kassel] in 1983, where she worked as a researcher and managing director until 2021. Her research and texts on the history of women’s movements in Germany have focused on funding strategies, women’s participation in politics, and Frauenbank Berlin [Women’s Bank]. In 1997, her doctoral dissertation was published under the title
Die (un)heimliche Macht des Geldes: Finanzierungsstrategien der bürgerlichen Frauenbewegung in Deutschland zwischen 1865 und 1933 [The (un)settling power of money: financing strategies of the bourgeois women’s movment in Germany between 1865 and 1933] (Siegener Frauenforschungsreihe, vol. 2, Frankfurt/Main: dipa).