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PHOTO CREDIT: K. Sark, Vienna, Secession Building, 2011

1953 – Austria signs an international agreement on equal pay for equal work

1956 Berta Karlik is appointed to a full professorship as the first woman in Austria

1957 – Introduction of the Mutterschutzgesetz (Maternity Protection Law)

1966 – Grete Rehor (ÖVP) becomes Austria’s first female minister (Social Affairs)

1971 – Criminal Law Reform Act (Strafrechtsänderungsgesetz) brings the annulment of the total prohibition of homosexual relationships. Introduction of four additional paragraphs concerning legal age restrictions for gay relationships, prohibition of homosexual sex work, the promotion of homosexuality and the foundation of homosexual associations which are abolished according to reforms in 1997 and 2002

1971-72 – Formation of "Aktion 144" a union of women against § 144 of the Austrian penal code which criminalises abortion

1972 – Formation of the first autonomous women’s group in Austria "Aktion Unabhängiger Frauen" (AUF). Demonstration against the criminalisation of abortion

1973 – Austrian, German and Swiss women’s groups take part at the women’s camp in Malloya, Switzerland. Foundation of the first Tyrolian women’s group "Arbeitskreis für Emanzipation und Partnerschaft" (AEP). Meetings of the first women’s group in Vorarlberg

1974 – First women’s groups in Styria (Graz) and Salzburg. Publication of the first Austrian women’s magazines "AEP-Informationen" and "AUF-Eine Frauenzeitschrift." Opening of the first Information Centre for Women (Information für Frauen – INFRA) in Vienna with intensive participation of the "AUF." Actions against the petition for a referendum initiated by "Aktion Leben" against the decriminialisation of abortion are organised. The "AUF" initiates the first 1. May women's groups demonstration.

1975 – Participation of Austrian women’s groups in Paris at the conference for the preparations of the "Gewalt-Tribunal" (Violence Tribunal) in Brussels and collaboration at the Tribunal. Collaboration at the "Internationale Solidaritätswoche gegen Abtreibungsverbote" (International Solidarity Week against Abortion Prohibitions). Opening of the controversial "Schwangerschaftsberatungsdienst" (SBD, Pregnancy Information Service) by the International Pregnance Advisory Service (IPAS) in Vienna. Publication of the first "Bericht über die Situation der Frau in Österreich" (Report on the Condition of Women in Austria) by the Austrian government. Opening of the first Austrian "Frauenzentrum" (Women’s Centre) by the "AUF" in Vienna. Formation of a women’s group in Upper Austria (Linz). The "AUF" publishes a booklet themed "Wissen wir Frauen alles über unsere Sexualität?" (Do we women know everything about our sexuality?). The first UN World Conference on Women takes place in Mexico City. The following years further conferences are organised: 1980 (Copenhagen), 1985 (Nairobi) and 1995 (Beijing). Women get the possibility to maintain a double-barrelled name. The family name after the husband remains until 1986, then both partners’ names can become the family name respectively both can hold double-barrelled names. The codification of the "Fristenregelung" makes abortion within three months of conception legal

1976 – The "Familienrechtsreform" is passed, which brings fundamental reforms in family law. Feminist campaigns against Mother’s Day take place. Foundation of the lesbian flatshare "Amazonenmarkt" (Amazons’ Market). Austrian women’s groups attend the Women’s Film Festival in Copenhagen. Celebration of the first public "Frauenfest" (Women’s Feast) on Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgnis Night).

1977 – Reforms on maternity protection (Mutterschutz) and joint divorce (einvernehmliche Scheidung) are passed. The first women’s seminar at the University of Vienna is held. Foundation of the first Women’s Forum in Vienna and the first Women’s University Group. Opening of the first women’s book shop and coffee shop "Frauenzimmer" (Women’s Room) in Vienna. The AEP opens the first feminist women’s library in Innsbruck, Tyrol. First National Congress of the Austrian Women’s Movement takes place in Vienna

1978 – The abolition of the paternal force (väterliche Gewalt) brings the same rights and responsibilities for mothers and fathers. 1000 women attend a "Frauenfest" (Women's Feast). Due to space contraints a spontaneous demonstration with 350 women to the Moulin Rouge, a popular night club, is held. First Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night) demonstration themed "Take back the night!" takes place. Conference of the Vienna Women’s Movement takes place. Establishment of the first shelter for battered women in Vienna. Another four are installed the following years

1979 – Introduction of the Law for equal Treatment in the private industry. Nomination of four state secretaries: Johanna Dohnal for "Allgemeine Frauenfragen" (General Women's Affairs), Franziska Fast for "Sozialressort für Fragen der berufstätigen Frauen" (Social and Employed Women's Affairs), Beatrix Eypeltauer for "Wohnbau" (Housing Affairs) in the "Bautenministerium" (Ministry for Housing) and Anneliese Albrecht for "Konsumentenfragen" (Consumers’ Affairs) in the "Handelsministerium" (Board of Trade). First demonstration on International Women’s Day is held by the Autonomous Women’s Movement. Distribution of the first lesbian flyer at the 1. May demonstration titled "Die Seele hat kein Geschlecht" (The soul has no sex). The Women’s Centre Innsbruck organises the "Innsbrucker Frauentage" (Innsbrucker Women’s Days) with 300 participants from Austria and Germany

1980 – Foundation of the "Wiener Frauenverlag" (Viennese Women’s Publisher) and the "Notruf und Beratung für vergewaltigte Frauen" (Emergency Call and Helpdesk for Raped Women). Opening of the "Uni-Frauenzentrum" (University Women’s Centre in Vienna) as a meeting point for students who are interested in the Women's Movement. Uncoiling of the first lesbian banner at a demonstration on International Women's Day. The first Austrian "Lesbentreffen" (Lesbian Meeting) takes place in Vienna. Further meetings are organised annually from 1983 to 1988 in different cities. Austria signs the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

1981 – Foundation of a lesbian group in the "Homosexuelle Initiative Wien. 1. Schwulen- und Lesbenverband Österreichs" (HOSI, Homosexual Initiative Vienna. 1. Gay and Lesbian Association). First joint demonstration on International Women's Day of autonomous women's groups and women's groups of political or religious organisations with 1200 women

1982 – Establishment of the "Rosa Lila Villa" (Pink Purple Villa) as a housing and activism project for lesbians and gays in Vienna

1983 – Publication of the first lesbian magazine "Lilien Postilien" and the first "Lesbenrundbrief" (Lesbian Newsletter). Foundation of the "Österreichische Gesellschaft für Homosexuellenforschung und Lesbierinnenforschung" (ÖGHL, Austrian Society for Homosexual Research and Lesbian Research)


1984 – The first "Frauensommeruni" (FSU, Women’s Summer University) takes place in Vienna. Another five follow until 1990. First lesbian and gay demonstration on Christopher Street Day in Vienna. Opening of the first lesbian pub "Lila Löffel" (Purple Spoon) in Vienna


1985 – Introduction of the first women’s quota in a political party (SPÖ)


1986 – Freda Meissner-Blau (Die Grünen) runs as first woman for the presidential election. Marga Hubinek becomes the first woman in the chair of the National Council


1987 – Christine Schirmer becomes Vienna’s first council woman. Publishing of a booklet concerning women and AIDS by the "Österreichische AIDS Hilfe" (Austrian AIDS Help)


1989 – Rape in marriage and in partnerships is considered as a criminal act. Foundation of the "Verein Vernetzung autonomer Frauenprojekte" (Association for Linking-up Autonomous Women’s Projects)


1990 – The Secretary of State for Women is enhanced the Ministry for Women’s Affairs. Johanna Dohnal becomes its first minister. Introduction of the maternity leave for fathers


1991 – The women’s and lesbians’ pirate radio station Sisters in Voice starts broadcasting. Establishment of the "Gleichbehandlungsanwaltschaft" (Equal Treatment Advocacy)


1993 – The UN Human Rights Conference takes place in Vienna. With the help of 300 women’s groups from 123 countries women’s rights are established as an essential part of general human rights. Introduction of the "Bundesgleichbehandlungsgesetz" (Law for equal Treatment at a National Level). Establishment of "Velvet Cinema. Initiative feministisches Kino" (Initiative Feminist Cinema)


1995 – Establishment of the possibility for spouses to keep their own surnames, in 2013 further possibilities for the holding of surnames are introduced. Publishing of the first booklet concerning lesbians and Aids by the "Rosa Lila Tip. Informations- und Beratungsstelle für homosexuelle Frauen und Männer in der Rosa Lila Villa" (Information Centre and Help Desk für homosexual Women and Men in the Rosa Lila Villa) in Vienna


1996 – Foundation of "identities. Queer Film Festival" in Vienna. Celebration of the first "Regenbogenparade" (Lesbian and Gay Pride, CSD) on the Ringstraße in Vienna


1997 – The "Bundesgesetz zum Schutz gegen Gewalt in der Familie" (Law for Sign-posting and Trespassing for Women’s Security due to domestic Violence) is passed. The "Frauenvolksbegehren" (Women’s Petition for a Referendum) is supported by 644.665 people, but its 10 demands are not put into practice. Gender-Mainstreaming becomes a declared goal of the EU. After 155 years women are admitted to join the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

1998 – Foundation of the "Antidiskriminierungsstelle für gleichgeschlechtliche und transgender Lebensweisen Wien" (WASt, Organisation against Discrimination of homosexual and transgender Living in Vienna). The first "Regenbogenball" (Rainbow Ball) is arranged as a community event. Women can join the "Österreichisches Bundesheer" (Austrian National Armed Forces), but not hold all offices until the 1.1.2001


2000 – Susanne Riess-Passer (FPÖ) becomes Austria’s first female vice president. Abolition of the Ministry for Women’s Affairs due to the coalition of FPÖ and ÖVP. Herbert Haupt becomes responsible for Women’s Politics and founds the Department of Men’s Affairs within the office


2001 – Establishment of the annual "Tricky Women" film festival, which focuses on animation films produced by women


2002 – EU resolution on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions


2002-2003 – The "Manifesto FeMigra" of the women's group "FeMigra – feministische Migrantinnen" (Feminist Migrants) gets published in "an.schläge. das feministische magazin" (the feminist magazine)


2003 – Foundation of the Ministry for Health and Women. Establishment of the "le.f.t - lesbische film.tage Graz" (Lesbian Film Days Graz), which also take place in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012


2004 – Establishment of the EU principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services. First female Foreign Minister, Minister for Justice and Minister of the Interior are appointed. The first Ladyfest and Dyke March in the run-up to the "Regenbogenparade" (CSD) take place in Vienna. The "FrauenFilmTage" (Women's Film Days) are taking place for the first time in Vienna and are held annually since then


2006 – Barbara Prammer becomes first female president of the National Council. Establishment of the MA degree Gender Studies at the University of Vienna. Foundation of the organisation "Ehe ohne Grenzen" (EOG, Marriage without borders) by binational married couples with partners from European and non-European countries


2007 – Appointment of Ingela Brunner to a university rector as the first woman (BOKU. Universität für Bodenkultur, University of Natural Ressources and Life Sciences Vienna). Gender Budgeting, the equalisation of women and men in the public budget system, becomes part of the Austrian constitution. Renewal of the "Frauensommeruni" as "Frauenfrühlingsuni" (FFU, Women's Spring University, since 2013 "Frauen*frühlingsuni", since 2015 "Feministische Frühlingsuni", Feminist Spring University) and annual organisation: 2007 (Wien), 2008 (Salzburg), 2009 (Graz), 2010 (Klagenfurt), 2011 (Linz), 2012 (Wien), 2013 (Stadtschlaining), 2014 (Salzburg), 2015 (Fürstenfeld) and 2016 (Innsbruck)


2008 – After 430 years women are allowed to join the Spanish Riding School Vienna (Spanische Hofreitschule Wien). The "MiA-Award" for outstanding achievements of migrated women who live in Austria is commissioned the first time

2009 – Introduction of 40% women’s quota in university committees.  University law allows the titles "Magistra" for the master’s degree and "Doktorin" for the doctorate. In 1992 a university students’ application for the title "Magistra" for the master’s degree was declined, efforts for the introduction of female academic titles already started 1986. Foundation of "MiGay", the organisation for queer migrants in Austria


2010 – The morning-after pill can be purchased without prescription. Establishment of the registration of a civil union for homosexual couples


2011 – Organisation of a demonstration for women’s rights due to the 100 years International Women’s Day anniversary on the Ringstraße in Vienna. After the closing of the "Frauenzimmer" in 2007, the second feminist book shop "ChickLit" opens in Vienna


2012 – Controversial gender-quitable change of the Austrian anthem becomes effective with two modifications: "Heimat großer Töchter und Söhne" (Home to great daughters and sons) instead of "Heimat großer Söhne" (Home to great sons) and "Jubelchöre" (choir of jubilance) instead of "Brüderchöre" (choir of brothers) are introduced


2016 – Tightening of the sexual crime legislation concerning sexual harassment and sexual self-determination

Compiled by Margit Hauser at

STICHWORT: Archives of the Women’s & Lesbians’ Movement 

Library – Documentation – Multimedia

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