Jiřina Šiklová has broken gender stereotypes – i.e. behaving differently, acting and thinking outside the (gender) box in many ways. This includes founding a Gender Studies Center which examines those stereotypes. During her whole life, in spite of various political conditions, she managed to achieve recognition and visibility for her actions and is continuing to do so even now. Her activities to support women are not only in the examples she has set, nor in her academic and publishing activities. She has supported women as a social worker, helping women ‘on the ground’ with their real life problems. She continues to actively promote and encourage women in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
She was one of the founders of the Department of Sociology at the Philosophical Faculty, at Charles University in Prague. Here she worked on the problematics of youth and the student movement. She was also a member of the Czech Communist Party. With the Soviet invasion, people were scrutinised, and her involvement in the reformation process resulted in her losing her position at the university. Jiřina Šiklová was now a dissident!
After leaving the university, she worked as a cleaning lady and as a social worker at the Geriatrics Department of Thomayer´s Hospital in Prague. Although she participated in research, she was not allowed to publish under her own name. In the ensuing normalisation years, she smuggled forbidden academic literature items both to and from the West; writing sometimes under an assumed name. She was imprisoned for this.
After the change in the government in 1989 she returned to university. She initiated the founding of the Department of Social Work (not Applied Sociology), which she led until 2000. It was at this time that she also founded the Gender Studies Center and Library in Prague. These later expanded to become a publicly beneficial source for society.
In 1995, she was awarded the Woman of Europe award for her contribution to the integration of Europe. In 1999, she was awarded a Medal for Service of the Highest Category by President Vaclav Havel.