Dolors Aleu, the first woman doctor in Spain, gives the name to a room in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dolors Aleu room -the former Sala de Graus room- is now a renewed space with state-of-the-art technologies, and it is mainly thought for the oral examinations and other activities related to the academic life of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dolors Aleu: the difficulties of being a woman and doctor in a 19th century society
The new space wants to honor the relevance of Dolors Aleu i Riera (1857-1913), a pioneer doctor who was particularly defiant regarding the role of women at that time. Majored in gynecology and children medicine, Aleu oustood as a professional who was committed to the effort of improving womenʼs life quality, especially regarding maternity.
Born in Barcelona, she entered the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona in September 1874. Although she finished her studies in 1879, it was not until April 4, 1882, that she received the authorization to take the diploma exam, a test she passed in June with an excellent qualification.
In September 1882, Dolors Aleu obtained her PhD degree in Madrid with a work titled De la necesidad de encaminar por nueva senda la educación higiénico-moral de la mujer, supervised by Professor Joan Giné i Partagàs, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and rector of the UB, to whom she thanked for “the good advice and support during the infinite difficulties I faced over my studies, being, in just one word, the only who has raised his word supporting the weak sex in front of the strong one”.
“True talent goes in hand with the greatness of the heart”, said Dolors Aleu in her thesis, which concludes stating “I cannot finish this thesis without calling for all women so that, leaving worries behind, they pursue their studies”.
With the new room now dedicated to Dolors Aleu, the UB expands its initiative -launched by the Vice-rectorʼs Office of Equal Opportunities and Social Action of the UB, in collaboration with the Equality Unit, to name some rooms of the faculties after dignified women.