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IWD 2021 – Milunka Savic – Former Yugoslavia

Although IWD is celebrated on March 8th, there are so many women whose work has improved numerous lives throughout the world, some of who are our very own, within the IAM. Throughout the month of March we will feature women from different parts of the world and historical eras to remind us that the women’s movement indeed has deep and long roots. Follow us as we learn together about women who have left a mark on history and society.

IWD 2021 – Milunka Savic – Former Yugoslavia

Known as Serbia’s Mulan, she is also the most decorated woman in the history of warfare. During the Balkan War in 1912, her brother was called for service, but Milunka decided to take his place. It wasn’t until her 10th mission that her gender was discovered due to an injury. Her superiors found out that she was indeed a woman, and planned to transfer her to the nursing division. However, she refused, insisting she continue to fight as a soldier. Given her commitment and competencies, she was allowed to continue fighting and would go on to fight in the Second Balkan War and World War I. France bestowed upon her the Croix de Guerre and Legion d’Honneur, with a state pension, which she refused and decided to return to live in Serbia. Russia honoured her with the Cross of St. George and Great Britain bestowed on her the Medal of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael.

Although she wasn’t allowed to fight during World War II, she organized an infirmary to give aid to the Partisans (The Yugoslavian Resistance Army), for which she was imprisoned by the Nazis, whom she escaped. After WWII, Milunka continued to make a difference, adopting children off the street, and helping educate others, until her death in 1972. (Photo)

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This article was originally posted on the IAM Canada website. View the original post here: IWD 2021 – Milunka Savic – Former Yugoslavia