Cappe, Victoire

Item

Name

Cappe, Victoire

Given name

Victoire

Family name

Cappe

One-line bio

Founder of the Syndicat de l'Aiguille (Needleworkers Union), Victoire Cappe worked closely with Cardijn to launch study circles of teenage girl workers in Laeken.

Biography

In 1907, Victoire Cappe founded the Syndicat de l’Aiguille, the first union for needleworkers, dressmakers, and seamstresses. She also began study circles (monthly meetings for young girls and women) to overcome ignorance and indifference, and reach autonomy of mind and action.

Facing resistance from most of the clergy, but with the support of Cardinal Mercier, Cappe expanded unions to Brussels, then other Belgian cities. Later, she founded a national Christian professional women’s union.

In 1912, she began to work Cardijn, who had just started as a curate in the parish of Notre Dame at Laeken.

She co-founded a magazine, La Femme Belge, in which Cardijn also often wrote. She compiled several articles into a 1911 book, also called La Femme Belge, including an article on Le Salaire Féminin, organised into three parts "Facts, principles, solutions," anticipating the See-Judge-Act that Cardijn and the JOC would adopt and make famous.

She contributed monthly reviews to the JOCF magazine, Joie et Travail, .

Victoire Cappe taught social justice as a leader in the Christian Democratic labour movement. She was one of the founders of the Catholic school for social work.

Cappe attended the first Congress of the International Labor Organization in 1919 in Washington, DC, and the first international congress for women workers preceeding it. With Maria Baers and Isidore Maus, Cappe created the International Catholic Union of Social Work.

She suffered seriously from depression and died prematurely in 1927.

SOURCES

Country of origin

English Belgium

Birth date

March 18, 1886

Birth place

Liège

Death date

October 29, 1927

Death place

Brussels

Affiliation

Syndicat de l'Aiguille
Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Féminine

Page

Title

Victoire Cappe