5 Emblematic Women in Argentine History

(Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Cecilia Grierson – 1859-1934

Cecilia Grierson was the first female doctor in the country. She graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a surgeon-doctor in 1889 and began working at the Ramos Mejia Hospital (back then, San Roque Hospital).  She founded the first school of nurses, the Argentine first aid association, and the institute for the blind in Buenos Aires.

She also traveled to London and became the vice-president of the International Women’s Congress and studied gynecology in France.

Rosario Vera Peñaloza- 1873-1950

Rosario Vera Peñaloza dedicated her life to education. She founded the first Argentine kindergarten in La Rioja. She was also a head mistress in many schools around the country.

In 1931 the national education committee entrusted her with the creation of the first national museum for primary education. Her date of death was declared the national kindergarten teacher’s day.

Alicia Moreau Justo- 1885-1986

Alicia Moreau Justo was born in London but moved to Buenos Aires with her family when she was five. She was doctor and political activist who fought for women’s rights.

In 1902 she founded the women’s socialist center and was one of the founders of the women’s pro-suffrage committee.

She was also married to one Juan B. Justo, an influential politician, journalist, physician and writer with whom she had three children.

Victoria Ocampo- 1890-1979

Victoria Ocampo was an Argentine writer and intellectual.

She was born into an aristocratic family and traveled from an early age to Europe, which helped form her cultural identity.

She was a part of the feminist movement and founded Sur magazine, which was the most important literary magazine of its time in Latin America. Authors such as Sabato, Borges, Cortazar and Camus were published in it, amongst many other prominent authors.

She also edited and supported an anti-nazi magazine during world war II.

In 1976 she was appointed the first woman member of the Argentine Academy of Letters.

She frequently received visits from internationally renowned writers, artists and thinkers at her residence, which is open to visits. More information is available here.

Evita- 1919-1952

Evita is the most iconic woman in Argentine history. Born in Los Toldos, in the Province of Buenos Aires, she was first an actress, and then a politician.

She married Juan Domingo Peron in 1944 and became the face of Peronism.

As a first lady she is credited with having played an essential part in obtaining women’s voting rights and organizing the feminine branch of the Peronist political party. She established and ran the Fundacion Eva Peron, dedicated to social work.

She died of cancer when she was 33 and it is estimated that over a million people assisted her wake.

More information on Evita is available at  the Evita Museum.