Google honours Aletta Jacobs

Google will honour Aletta Jacobs, the Netherlands’ first female student and doctor, with a Doodle on Thursday, her 163rd birthday.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Alain Reniers

The illustration of Aletta Jacobs is not only available on the homepage of the American search engine in the Netherlands, but also in Canada, Sweden, Spain and Australia, among others.

Aletta Jacobs was born in Sappemeer and was the first woman to attend the Rijks Hogere Burgerschool (secondary modern school). After writing a letter to then prime minister Thorbecke asking permission to take classes, she was permitted to pursue an academic education at age 17. In 1871, she started studying medicine at the RUG.

After her studies, Aletta Jacobs made efforts in a host of ways to improve the living and working conditions of women. She was the most well-known female Dutch representative of first wave feminism and fought for women’s suffrage, in addition to other achievements.


Doodles are unique Google logos for special occassions, such as holidays, anniversaries and celebrating the lives of extraordinary artists, pioneers and scientists. The Doodle of Aletta Jacobs was designed by the Gerben Steenks, a Dutch ‘doodler’, and depicts her standing in front of the Rijks Hogere Burgerschool.

The RUG honours Aletta Jacobs with a prize in her name that is awarded once every two years to a woman who has made an exceptional contribution to the cause of emancipation. A bust of Jacobs is located in front of the Harmonie Complex and the exam hall also bears her name.



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