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Women and education

Vilma H. and Gyula J.



The second Museo Mundial Project installation at the Castle Museum of the Budapest History Museum aims to show the parallels and differences between the opportunities for women and men in the 19th century and today. The installation is in the form of a tear-off pad. On this pad, visitors can compare the life story of Vilma Hugonnai with that of Dr. Gyula Janny, a successful male doctor. Vilma Hugonnai was the first Hungarian woman to earn a medical degree. She had to struggle for twenty years to have her diploma officially accepted in Hungary. She fought throughout her life to change the perception of women’s education held by the country’s leaders and its people.

The installation is situated in the permanent exhibition “Budapest Light and Shadow – the 1000 Years of a Capital”, beside the sections on Housing and Cultural Venues”. In this area, the original furniture of Dr. Gyula Janny is also displayed.


  • The installation is in the form of a tear-off pad of paper (60 x 90 cm), which is fixed to the wall. Visitors can tear off a sheet and take it home.
  • On one section of the paper is a dressing up game that involves everyday outfits and medical clothing from the end of the 19th century for men and women. The clothes have to be cut out. In this way, the visitor can continue to experience the installation at home or pass on the sheet to others.
  • Through this tool, the visitor can form a personal impression on someone whose personal items are exhibited in their historical context.
  • This installation is linked to a room introducing housing from the medieval dwelling through to the design of homes in 19th and 20th century Budapest. The information links the visitors via personal objects to the everyday life of people in Budapest.
  • The installation aims to introduce Millennium Development Goal 3 (“Promote gender equality and empower women”) through describing the life of a person who got her Hungarian medical degree at the age of fifty and did everything in her power to work as a doctor.
Museo Mundial_HU_Women_1

The tear-off pad is attached to the wall

Museo Mundial_HU_Women_2

The dressing up game with everyday outfits and medical clothing from the end of the 19th century for men and women

Museo Mundial_HU_Women_3

The tear-off pad introduces the life stories of Gyula Janny and Vilma Hugonnai

    Budget + resources

    Budget needed:

    Graphic desing and implementation

    300 €

    Printing and installation

    1200 €


    1500 €

    How to do it step by step

    1st Step:

    Choose object and topic

    One of the most popular thematic sections in the permanent exhibition of Budapest history is called “Housing”. The Civil Room shows the surviving furniture belonging to Dr. Gyula Janny, a very successful doctor in the 19th Century. Using the exhibition’s touchscreens, we can obtain several pieces of information about him. However, there is not much information about his family, who also lived at this place. In addition, there was a woman doctor from the same era called Vilma Hugonnai, who fought for Hungarian women to be able to attend universities. By merging these themes, we fulfilled our intention of arranging an exhibition that both had a personal dimension and related to the position of women in society.

    2nd Step:

    Check technical requirements

    Although there is not much space available in this exhibition, the material, which can be torn off, was very well placed, near Janny’s tableau. We wanted to introduce an interactive element at this location, which visitors would want to take away with them. That is how the material inspired by items in the museum’s antique collection was born: the paper dressing up game presenting a man and a woman from the 19th century, where both genders can wear medical clothing.

    It was important that the installation could bear the weight of the paper pad and that sheets could easily be torn off without damaging the wall.

    3rd Step:


    Once we had decided on the size and surface area approproate for the content, manufacturing accounted for the majority of the budget (printing). There were significant differences between printing quotes.

    4th Step:

    Create content

    We wanted to create something that makes the visitor think. Material from other museum collections provided the inspiration for the game. The timeline idea arose from a brainstorming session with our work colleagues, but it is difficult for some visitors to make sense of it. Therefore, the content should be tested by someone who is not involved in the project. However, the content was checked by the curator of the exhibition.

    5th Step:

    Installing the installation in the museum

    As regards installing the installation in the museum, it is important to find a place where it is easy for the exhibition guards to replace the tear-off pad when the sheets run out. In our case, we found the perfect place.


    Ups & Downs


    • The visitor can continue to engage with the exhibition at home or pass on the sheets to others.
    • The installation gave a more personal touch to the permanent exhibition by displaying the life story of one of the former owners of the objects on exhibit.


    • The pad is almost too big and, therefore, it is not really comfortable for visitors to take sheets home.

    Lessons learned

    • References made to the differences between the two life stories are not sufficient to make the topic clear to visitors. We should have explained the negative and positive sides of the story more clearly.

    Feedback from visitors

    • Visitors are not bold enough to take sheets home with them. They a bit big to take home, although, once visitors realize they are free, they take them anyway, especially the women.
    • Based on questionnaire feedback, we know that there is a real connection between education and the situation of women. Educated women tend to marry later, and their families enjoy better health compared to the families of less educated women.


    Internet links + other sources

    UNESCO: GenderEquality: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    UNESCO: Gender and Education: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    World Education: Girls’ and Women’s Education: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    OECD: Act for Gender Equality: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    Baptist World Alliance: Women’s Department: (lastaccessed 2015/08/27)

    Education  For All Global Monitoring Report: The bottom ten countries for female education: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    Half the Sky Movement: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    Right to Education Project: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    Actionaid: Girls’ Education: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

    Global Campaign for Education: (lastaccessed 2015/08/27)

    UN Woman: (last accessed 2015/08/27)

     This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.
    The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Museo Mundial project partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.