In the upcoming days of the Betina shipyard, on August 14th, we will open our exhibition “Shipbuilders’ Wives”. This exhibition emphasizes the role of women in shipbuilding during the second half of the 20th century – a period of the greatest social changes in Betina on the island of Murter. The exhibition highlights the involvement of women in shipbuilding, and their stories form the foundation of the entire exhibition concept.
Women have always played a secondary role in shipbuilding. Their names were never recorded. Nevertheless, a woman’s touch could always be felt at the shipyard.
The stories of the women from Betina’s 20th-century shipbuilding community reveal the other side of shipbuilding – the one hidden behind launched ships, bent timbers, and hammered nails. These stories speak of women who dedicated their entire lives to their shipbuilder husbands, managing households, caring for children, the elderly and disabled family members. They also worked in the fields, assisted in shipyards, organized social gatherings and festivities, tidied up, and took care of everything happening behind the scenes of wooden ship construction.
They were the wives, mothers, they took care of the households, but they were also farmers, laborers, and later, amidst all these “domestic” responsibilities, they were also employed in various professions. Nevertheless, they always found time to take care of everything that was considered “women’s work”.
The shipbuilders’ wives of the second half of the 20th century were raised in accordance with traditional values, grew up working in the fields, experienced a transformation of society in which they were given the opportunity to earn their own money, express their opinions and become part of public life. Through various thematic areas covered by the exhibition we reveal their story.
We are opening the exhibition on Monday, August 14th, at 8 PM. See you at the Museum!