Draga Ljočić je bila prva srpska lekarka, feministkinja i filantropkinja. Svoj život Draga je posvetila aktivnoj borbi za emancipaciju žena u Srbiji, socijalnu jednakost i bolji položaj lekarki. Kroz čitavu karijeru je, isključivo zbog toga što je žena, doživljavala nepravdu i nipodaštavanje, protiv kojih se hrabro i neumorno borila. Draga je bila i jedna od prvih srpskih sifražetkinja i snažno se zalagala za sticanje političkih prava za žene.

Studije medicine u Cirihu (koje upisuje 1872. godine) prekida da bi radila kao vojna bolničarka pri izbijanju srpsko-turskog rata (1876.). Tokom rata je odlikovana činom poručnika jer je učestvovala i u borbi. Nakon rata nastavlja sa studiranjem i 1879. godine diplomira, čime postaje prva srpska lekarka. Kada je završila sa studijama Draga odlučuje da se vrati u Srbiju kako bi radila, ali uprkos svojim kompetencijama nailazi na mnoge pokušaje opstrukcije karijere u medicini.

Pred Dragom je bila višedecenijska borba za izjednačavanje statusa sa muškim kolegama, a rodna diskreditacija je išla do te mere da joj je u jednom momentu rečeno da zbog „ženske prirode“ ne može da radi poslove koje obavljaju njene muške kolege. Pre svega joj je bilo otežano da uopšte počne da radi kao lekarka, jer joj je zahtev za licencu nekoliko puta uzastopno odbijan. Draga nije odustajala, te joj je konačno, nakon detaljnih ispitivanja kvalifikacija, odobreno da otvori privatnu praksu. Sa druge strane, državna bolnica u Beogradu je zapošljava godinu ili dve kasnije. Iako je rukovodila Ženskim odeljenjem u bolnici, imala je status i platu lekarske pomoćnice. Čak i kada je 1885. unapređena u takozvanog sekundarnog lekara, Draga je i dalje imala inferiorniji položaj u odnosu na svoje muške kolege: imala je manju platu, nije imala pravo na povišice, niti pravo na penziju. Narednih godina Draga se i dalje bori za ravnopravan položaj, da bi 1889. dobila otkaz.

Paradoksalna je činjenica da je za vreme ratnih perioda Draga bila potpuno jednaka sa kolegama i imala je status lekara. Kao lekarka je radila za vreme pomenutih srpsko-turskih ratova, zatim tokom srpsko-bugarskog rata, balkanskih ratova i za vreme Prvog svetskog rata.

Draga se konstantno bavila i dobrotvornim radom, besplatno je lečila decu i 1904. je sa dr Jovanom Jovanovićem osnovala „Materinsko udruženje“, koje je radilo na smanjenju smrtnosti novorođene dece i staralo se o napuštenoj deci. Čak je i ovaj plemenit potez naišao na osudu tadašnje javnosti, pod izgovorom da udruženje širi nemoral jer su štićenici i štićenice bili/e vanbračna deca. Uprkos svemu, Draga je uspela da se izbori za određenu materijalnu pomoć od Beogradske opštine i za zgradu u kojoj će udruženje kasnije biti smešteno. 1919. godine Draga je bila jedna od osnivačica „Društva beogradskih žena lekara“ koje je prikupljalo sredstva za otvaranje prve bolnice za žene i decu, u kojoj bi radile isključivo žene. Bolnica je otvorena tek deset godina kasnije i Draga Ljočić nije doživela njeno otvaranje.

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Draga Ljočić was the first female doctor in Serbia, as well as she was a feminist and a philanthropist. She advocated for the emancipation of women, social equality and better working conditions for female doctors. Throughout her life she was discredited solely for being a woman. Draga was one of the first suffragettes in Serbia and she pleaded for equal political rights for women.  

She begun studying medicine in Zurich, in 1872, and paused four years later to participate in the war between Serbia and Ottoman Empire. She became a lieutenant after participating in the fight. After the war she continued with her studies and graduated in 1879.  She decided to come back to Serbia in order to work as a doctor, but in spite of her competences, she was obstructed from doing so.

In the forthcoming decades Draga fought for equal rights and status with her male colleagues. Gender discrimination went so far that at one point she was told that she couldn’t do the work her male colleagues do, due to her „female nature“. After thorough examination of her competences she was allowed to open a private practice. Only after a few years she was allowed to work in a state hospital. Although she managed Women’s department in the hospital, she had the wage and status of a doctor’s assistant. Even when she was promoted to so called secondary doctor, Draga was still inferior to her male colleagues: she had lower wage, didn’t have the right to get a raise, and didn’t have the right to pension. In the following years Draga continued to fight for her rights, but ended up getting fired in 1889.

Paradoxically, during the war years Draga had an equal status with other male doctors. Besides in the Serbo-Ottoman Empire war, she worked as a doctor in Serbo-Bulgarian War, the Balkan Wars and during WWI.  

Draga constantly worked pro bono for children. In 1904. along with Dr Jovan Jovanović she established „Maternity Association“ whose main goal was to decrease mortality of the newborn babies and to give a shelter to abandoned children. Even this noble act was publicly condemned for „spreading immorality“ because all of the children were born outside marriage. Despite these circumstances Draga managed to get help from The City of Belgrade and a building in which the association will be located. In 1919 Draga was one of the founders of „Association of Belgrade female doctors“, which raised funds for the opening of the first hospital for women and children, which would employ only female doctors. That hospital was opened ten years later, but Draga Ljočić did not live to see it’s opening.