Zsuzsa Rácz and the Mom Theresa movement

1B7P2378_previewHungarian public is aware of the term Mom-Theresa as an attribute/concept since 2002. It is based on the character of a bestselling book’s protagonist.

The author of the book is Zsuzsa Rácz, and the title of the novel is Stop Mom Theresa! The story was a huge success, and as opposed to the average several thousand, it boasted more than 150 thousand sold copies on top of the bestselling lists. The readers voted for the book to be shortlisted among the Big Read and in 2010 won the Libri Golden Book Prize, thus becoming the favourite novel of the decade in the Entertainment category. Two years after publishing, a major movie came out with the same title.

The Kata Kéki character is successful due to the simple fact that it represents the way Hungarian women are still socialized: as a woman, your needs are subordinate to those of others – the needs of men. As part of the development of the character, the heroine realizes the situation and starts to question this status quo and revolts against it. But as she does it in a witty and ironic way, many women found it easy to identify with her.

In 2011 Zsuzsa Rácz’s aims to increase the self-esteem and social acknowledgment of women were embraced by a Hungarian blue chip company, and as a result of the co-operation a project was launched with multiple aspects, all undertaking the same mission.

MOM THERESA CLUBMOM THERESA  LITERARY  COMPETITIONGOLDEN MUM AWARD
The Club was launched with the purpose of creating a supportive women’s community. The primary aim was to establish a supportive network of women where  members can rely on one another. Such background support is essential in the successful womanly career, yet many are living without it. Club meetings are organized monthly, currently only in the capital city, but plans are that various country locations will be included in the network.The Mom Theresa Literary Competition is announced each year since 2010 to call for personal stories. Hundreds of pieces are received year after year from women from all over the country. The topics of the competition are related to social taboos concerning women, subjects that lack dialogues, even though breaking walls would be essential in making women  realize that they are not alone. Through these stories they are encouraged to tell their real thoughts, feelings and experiences about issues like how their lives were affected by having children or how they have to do their best in various areas of life at the same time.The Golden Mum Award was established in 2011 for women only, to acknowledge the work of those excelling in healthcare and as pedagogues. The purpose of this initiative – which is unique in Hungary – is to increase the social and self-esteem of women. The award and the prize money is given in three categories: pedagogue, doctor and healthcare worker, all typically representing female career choices.

Candidates for the Golden Mum Prize are nominated by the public. After the finalists are selected, votes can be submitted via the Internet, and the jury also declares winners.