Cappe, Victoire



Cappe, Victoire

Given name


Family name


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.


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.


Country of origin

Birth date

March 18, 1886

Birth place


Death date

October 29, 1927

Death place



Syndicat de l'Aiguille
Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Féminine





Victoire Cappe

Conjuntos de items

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