Hedvig Rinander was politically active in the early decades of the 1900s. She was involved in education and the women’s temperance movement.
Hedvig Rinander was born in Karlanda, Värmland in 1868. Her father was a school teacher and she grew up within a large family. She attended Läroverket för flickor (girls’ school) in Karlstad and then followed in her father’s footsteps by training as a teacher at Folkskoleseminariet (the public school teacher-training programme) in Falun. She completed her training in 1892 and then became employed at Gillberga folkskola in Vittinge, Uppland. She worked as a teacher there until 1895. She then worked at various Stockholm public schools, from 1896 onwards, and was also employed as a teacher at Lägre lärarinneseminariet (junior teacher-training programme) in Stockholm.
Hedvig Rinander subsequently became actively involved in educational causes and worked at Stockholm’s advanced public schools where she served both as a member of the board and as the secretary of its teachers’ society. She was also a member of and served on the board of a range of other teachers’ societies, such as Stockholms folkskolors lärarförening (Stockholm public schools’ teachers’ society), Modersmålslärarnas förening (society of mother-tongue teachers), and in the Stockholm branch of Sveriges folkskollärarinneförbund (national association of female teachers). She was a well-known figure within the educational sphere and in 1919 she was tasked with serving as an expert in developing teaching plans for the advanced public schools of Stockholm. She served as the examiner at the Grevesmühlska coeducational school in 1930 and joined the Maria congregation school board in 1935.
As a teacher Hedvig Rinander was not afraid to take on tasks involving children and young people. She took an active role in school-holiday activities and from 1909 she was a member of Stockholms fjällkolonier (mountain camping group). She was the director of one of their camps in Åre and organised activities for children of various ages. During the 1930s she was also an active member of Centralstyrelsen för skollovskolonier (executive committee for school camps) and served as the organisation’s deputy chair from 1938.
Hedvig Rinander was a member of the Christian women’s temperance organisation known as Vita Bandet (White Ribbon) and also served on its executive committee. She was the secretary of the local Östermalm branch in Stockholm as well as the chair of the Stockholm Vita Bandet district. Her good organisational skills and talent for public speaking meant that she was given a range of roles within Vita Bandet. This included representing the organisation within the Centralförbund för nykterhetsundervisning (national association for teaching temperance). Hedvig Rinander enjoyed singing and music and was involved in writing Vita Bandets Sångbok which was published in 1915. She directed the Vita Bandet choir and organised concerts given by the Östermalm branch in churches throughout the Stockholm area.
Hedvig Rinander was in charge of the Vita Bandet peace corps from 1934–1947, and then served as secretary of the peace-committee. She attended several of the Vita Bandet international conferences, including those at Edinburgh in 1926, in Lausanne in 1928, and in Helsinki in 1931. Further, she was chair of the Stockholm women’s temperance confederation which was established following a three-day conference organised by Vita Bandet in 1921. The conference was part of the public information efforts leading up to the referendum on alcohol prohibition in 1922.
Hedvig Rinander took great interest in politics and was also active at the party-political level. She was a broadminded liberal and, in 1923, she became a member of the board of Stockholms frisinnade medborgarförening (liberal citizens’ association). In 1924 Frisinnade folkpartiet (Liberal People's party) was established, in which Hedvig Rinander became an active party member. She was elected onto the Stockholm town council for the period of 1929–1931, and in 1933 she was elected onto the Stockholms pensionsnämnd (pension agency), eighth district, as well as a member of the church council in 1934. Frisinnade folkpartiet was dissolved in 1935 and replaced by Folkpartiet. At this time Hedvig Rinander served as chair of Föreningen frisinnade kvinnor (association of liberal women) in Stockholm and subsequently as a member of the Folkpartiet women’s organisation.
In 1940 Hedvig Rinander was awarded the För medborgerlig förtjänst (for civic services) medal of the eighth degree.
Hedvig Rinander died aged 85, following a lengthy and rich life of acivity within the political sphere, in 1953.