(Texto da intervenção feita na Universidade de Berkeley, durante o seminário sobre o Centenário da República Portuguesa)
MARIA MANUELA AGUIAR
President of the General Assembly- Associação Mulher Migrante
Former Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities
At the beginning of the XX century a group of feminist and republican women participated in a movement that made history in Portugal. In a country where there was no tradition of feminine participation in public life an elite of highly educated, courageous and strong-minded women suddenly came “out of the shadows”, with the support of republican leaders, in defense of democratic ideals and other causes, such as education for all, equal civil laws and universal suffrage.
Suffrage was a promise never fulfilled, actually, it became the cause of immediate dissent among the heads of the feminist movement, since some were more feminists than republicans, and others definitely more republicans than suffragists. Nonetheless, they all remained faithful to the new regime. Thus binging into question, if their natural moderation and innate republican complicity with their male partners – husbands, family, and friends - played against them?
In the end, they won their main battle albeit through future generations of women and they remain alive in the memory of the Republic today and forever.
1 - FEMINIST MOVEMENTS IN THE BEGINNING OF THE XX CENTURY
From the mid –eighteen hundreds feminist movements had been rapidly developing in Europe, mostly focused on suffrage. Portugal was no exception. However, the first initiatives that started before the end the XIX century were restricted to a limited circle of gender equality believers and did not grow in numbers until 1907-1908, when Portugal was perched on the verge of a regime change, and, even then, by direct interference of republican prominent leaders – all males, of course. This particularity would, in my opinion, bring a set of unique features that would affect the development of historical feminism in Portugal, mostly because it was supposed to become an asset to the republican cause, as well as to the cause of the emancipation of women. If not for that reason, the country did not seem to have much in its favor to be singled out for accomplishments in this special field. As was the case in other southern European societies there was no tradition of women actively playing a role in public life. We are aware, of course, that throughout the centuries our historians singled out a few outstanding women, monarchs, heads of state or acting as such, very influential and powerful Queens of Portugal, ruling side by side with their husbands or offspring, unexpected fighters in heroic battles in faraway lands of the empire – spread out over the half of the world assigned by the Pope to the Portuguese - and a few remarkable writers, poets, artists, and even leaders or participants of mass upraises, one who is still quite present in Portuguese collective memory is the legendary Maria da Fonte, who inspired one the hymns of the Republic, which is still sung at official ceremonies . They women were accepted and admired by their contemporaries, but as exceptions - our own "iron ladies".
Nonetheless, European ideas, tendencies, and social movements, sooner or later, would have an impact among us and later rather than sooner "feminism" began to infiltrate Portugal. By 1902, a leading intellectual and feminist Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcelos - German born, Portuguese by marriage, and the first woman to belong to the Academy of Sciences and to become professor of the University of Coimbra - wrote that there were no women organizations at all in the country and that from her point of view, that of someone born and brought up abroad, women’s political participation was unthinkable, since it was seen as unnatural by Portuguese standards (1). At the time, French or British feminists were already promoting huge marches of protest against discrimination through the avenues of Paris or London. In 1903, Mrs. Pankhurst was engaged in setting up the "Women Social and Political Union". In 1910, the so called "suffragettes", her potent and radical movement, organized a march that extended for several miles along the streets of London on the way to parliament, the very day a proposal for feminine suffrage was defeated. Over 200 MP'S had supported it - many, but not enough... In the same circumstances, every time an electoral law denied them the right to vote, Portuguese women put all their indignation in a carefully and beautifully written paper or asked for an audience to express their disillusion to a sympathetic but ineffective high dignitary - the President of the Republic himself, or the Prime Minister, or the Speaker of the House... (2).
In this domain, accomplishments, or lack there of, have more to do with a cultural gap “north-south” than with the nature of the regime. Stable Nordic monarchies like Denmark, Norway and Sweden, did not need to envisage a change of system in order to improve women's status and they did set an example of good laws and good practices much earlier than the two revolutionary Republics, France and Portugal, and many other countries in the world...(3). In Denmark, women were on the way to get the right to vote at local level (1908) even if they had to wait until 1915 to equal unrestricted vote in all elections and until 1921 to access to all careers, army excepted. In Norway, Camilia Collet was a pioneer activist, since 1884, followed, in the beginning of the new century, by Gina Kroeg, founder of the "Union for Working Women". Norwegian women advanced step by step, first as full members of School Councils (1889), Social Security Councils (1890), and Municipal Councils (1901). In 1907 they were recognized as citizens with the right to vote at local and at national level. In 1911 the first Norwegian woman was elected to parliament. By 1912 most of the careers in the public sector were open to women. In Sweden clever support of the "cause" in the literary domain and religious ideals of fraternity seem to have played a more important role than legal arguments or the involvement of political personalities, mainly through the thesis and action of Frederika Bremer, contemporary of feminist writers like Ibsen or Ellen Key and herself an acknowledged writer, literary critic and a great speaker and campaigner as well. Sweden was the last northern country to approve legislation on women’s vote and eligibility for the parliament in 1919, three years later than Island. Finland had been the earliest. In 1906 an electoral law was passed and in 1907 the first female parliamentarian was elected. Southern Europe pursued the trend much later. In fact, in that geographical and cultural area only Spain was ahead of Portugal.(4)
WOMEN OUT OF THE SHADOWS
FEMINISM IN PORTUGAL - A brief chronology
Predictably, taking into account the predominant mentality in regards to women's participation in politics, the feminist movement never obtained much visibility and wide-spread recognition. Even present-day historians tend to under estimate its influence in the birth of the new era. The History of Portuguese women is still in pending, unwritten to the full extent of its value as Elina Guimarães, the last survivor of that dazzling generation, appropriately asserted. (5 ) But the facts are there, available for research... Women were there as the living proof that the women of the republic were capable of living up to the social and cultural revolutionary ideals of gender equality, along with the principles of a new order in State and society. In fact, Portuguese feminism was never a vast mass movement, and although it gradually grew with a significant number of strong-willed, well-learned women, it was not to be as successful as it should have been. There were several reasons, none had to do with their capacity to make things work out better, perhaps in other time, other place… When you assess their culture or political “savoir faire” as expressed in so many speeches, and writings, you find no “gap” at all, looking at feminist leaders all over Europe... Among them, before and after the revolution, there are illustrious medical doctors, like Adelaide Cabete or Carolina Ângelo, writers like Ana de Castro Osório, Sara Beirão or Maria Lamas, teachers like Maria Veleda, Clara Correia Alves or Alice Pestana, journalists like Albertina Paraíso or Virgínia Quaresma, lawyers like Regina Quintanilha or Elina Guimarães (then a young law graduate).
A distinguished elite, in the company of a minority of few thousands of female citizens, unfortunately more and more divided, like republican politicians themselves, yet not for the same reasons - rather because some of the feminists, as the revolution went on and left them behind, took it better than others. Regrettably, they had a late appearance in the course of action for Women’s rights, they occupied their political and civic space for more or less 20 years and then their lessons or patterns of civic intervention were practically forgotten and lost, after the collapse of the Republic and the advent of a long and misogynous dictatorship, never to regain the same human dimension and radiance.
We will briefly look into these two decades- from 1906/7 to 1926.Initiatives undertaken at the end of the XIX century, interesting as they were, as the first “Feminist Congress” in 1892, or the first feminine newspaper (A Fronda) in 1897. Both having such limited impact that Carolina Michaelis in her essays on feminine enterprises does not take them into due consideration. In 1904, a few brave women did participate in the first "Congress of Freethinking" ( Congresso do Livre Pensamento) - names that would be part of the history of the Republic, like Adelaide Cabete and Maria Veleda, among others. Congresses, huge political meetings, as well as daily activities in republican centers played an important role in mobilizing public support that made the impossible revolution possible. Women suddenly became partners accepted and welcomed, sharing the intense and clever effort of republican propaganda distributed by such means. Many of them got drawn in the daily life of Mason organizations, in journalism, in associations providing all kinds of social help to children and needy girls or women, including educational and vocational training. By the turn of the century, republican centers and clubs were being set up all over the country, to promote social and cultural activities, publishing newspapers and leaflets, in an attempt to spread the Republican Party line, the promises of an era of freedom, prosperity, democracy and equal participation for all. Women gained access to such clubs, mainly in Lisbon and other minor cosmopolitan urban areas. It was the proper way to prepare them for future leadership and political commitment, even if, as we cannot ignore, they were given the opportunity to work for the victory of the republican cause rather than for the advance of their suffragist agenda, as they would soon find out.... In 1908, influential personalities, like Ana de Castro Osório and Adelaide Cabete were invited by António José de Almeida and other major members of the party to join the Portuguese Republican Party (PRP) in an organization of their own, the "Republican League of Portuguese Women". In 1909, the "League” became a formal structure of the party.In 1911, the denial of the suffrage in the legislation approved in March and April, grounded discontent that would lead to the coming apart of the "League". Mrs. Osório and Dr. Carolina Ângelo set up the "Association on Feminine Propaganda" (Associação de Propaganda Feminista") that became a member of the "International Women Suffrage Alliance". In 1913, a new electoral law unequivocally excluded female citizens. In 1914, another founder of the "League", Dr. Cabete formed the "National Council of Portuguese Women” (Conselho National das Mulheres Portuguesas), that was admitted to the International Council of Women, another international suffragist organization.(6)
In 1918, the electoral Law-decree, of March 30, did not open suffrage to women, and the same happened in 1919 (Decrees of March 1 and April 11). By then, no notable founding member remained in the League. They went their separate ways, divided by their different priorities. From 1914 to 1918, they were once again reunited in defense of Portugal participating in World War I. The Committee "Pro Pátria" was founded in 1914 and the “Portuguese Women Cruzade” (Cruzada das Mulheres Portuguesas) in 1916, headed by Ana de Castro Osório. It was her last civic crusade, a last display of great dynamism and courage not only in the diffusion of opinions but also in the direct help of wounded soldiers through “Committees” of nurses, regulated and supported by the government (7).
In 1924, the I Congress on Feminism and Education (I Congresso Feminista e da Educação) was held. President Teixeira Lopes and future (soon to be) President Bernardino Machado were both in attendance. In 1928, already under dictatorship, without any kind of official support, a second and last Congress took place.
The right to vote came 3 years later, ironically by the hand of Salazar, the quintessence of antifeminism - a restricted vote as proposed and defeated many a time during the 16 agitated years of the first Republic. (8)
2 - A TOUCH OF LONG LASTING MODERNISM
Portuguese feminists gained very important battles, like education for women, co-education, more or less egalitarian civil laws, family laws and divorce, more opportunity for professional work, involvement in politics, in journalism, in sciences and arts. They obtained the moral certainty of their remarkable contribution for the change of customs, mentalities, and laws on the line of democracy... However, they were never full citizens in the new Republic, as they never acquired the right to vote. None of them would ever have the option of running for parliament, like Mrs. Pankhurst, or of being elected as a Member of Parliament as Lady Astor was, in England, soon after the end of the WWI... But on the 8th of March 1988, more than eight decades after the commencement of their long struggle for emancipation and of the setting up of the "Group of Women' Studies" (joining Cabete, Osório and followers) a tribute was paid to them in the House. Some of them were, at last, "given the floor” through the voices of women of our generation. The proposal had been made by poet Natália Correia, then a Member of Parliament, someone you could compare to the best of the 1910 generation.(10)
Let me repeat some of the citations chosen for that memorable occasion, as the words sound surprisingly meaningful, significant and up to date, even if something gets lost in my translation… We, nowadays, would not put it differently, and their terms point out to many challenges still to be met.
"For us the emancipation of women is the founding stone of public morality. We recognize there were many difficulties to reach such an ideal, but we cannot forget that all the great ideals of what is fair or beautiful or lawful, worked out through sacrifices and merit of successive generations, were at one time considered utopias. And in two other very interesting remarks she concluded: “We cannot separate our emancipation from men’s emancipation”. Freedom does not tolerate any kind of slavery, only freed women may bring into being free, strong, moral and healthy societies (11)
Most certainly, Emmeline Pankhurst who once said "if civilization is to advance at all, it must be through the help of women, freed of their political shackles, women with full power to work their will in society" would agree.
"We want a new world, without discrimination based on race, caste, without discouraging laws, without slavery of any kind, without mistrust between sexes... men and women united to reach the same scope, to share the same possessions, rights and ideals" (...) women have to walk side by side with men, calm, spirited and self-possessed”. She defends education and the need of professional training for women and equal participation - topics still in our agenda. And she calls attention to the fact that lack of direct participation may induce evil forms of compensation: "If a woman can't elect she may conspire, she has done so in different ages, or fought with arms in their hands like those sturdy peasants who followed Maria da Fonte". 12)
Pestana (her pseudonym “Caiel”) is considered more a pacifist than a conventional feminist, but in fact I think she was both. President of the "Portuguese League for Peace", since 1889, a synthesis of her thought was presented in the parliamentarian session to which we refer: “The Portuguese Nation must give women modern learning, mobilize them to get interest in social reality they now think about much more with their heart than with adequate comprehension, instruction and intellectual capacity”. She is above all a “peace fighter” engaged in a “war against war”: “We ask for the creation of Committees for the cause if peace in each country, so that in the XX century we may live in harmony, meaning peace, freedom, and justice”. Nonetheless, she makes an exception, not seen as a contradiction, for what she designates the battle for a noble cause, stating that women, “have been on the side of justice, democracy and peace throughout the ages, even when written History does not mention it. In classical armies she usually finds no place, but in “guerilla”, resistance or liberation armies, in mass movements she is present.” She, specifically, refers to mass movements as those contributing to the independency and the foundation of national identity in Portugal.(13 )
ANA DE CASTRO OSÓRIO
She was next in the list of speakers, through the voice of another late XX century MP. Mrs. Osório was the most famous of the feminists of her time and also the one who seems to have been the first to fear the incapacity of the Republic to carry out the promise of feminine suffrage, as she said: “If a Republic excludes us from its civic laws, we cannot consider ours the country where we have no rights, where we don’t have a voice to protest”. Suffrage is her priority, a target always pursued and never attained, yet she does not minimize progress where it really happened, as in social and cultural spheres – education, more family rights, opportunities of revealing unexpected competence in social and civic activities, or in professional work. She stresses that things were already moving fast: “One who would defend the idea of feminine subjection or inferiority in a public statement would be compared to those who would have the Ill conceived courage to defend slavery".
“To be feminist does not scare anyone today, because the advancements brought by feminism are so many and so revealing of the high principles that guide intelligent women, that opponents do not dare speak against it - even if they wanted to - because their opinion would be considered outrageous”. Many a time she addresses “true feminism” as such: “to be feminist is a duty of all parents". It has to do with "the aim of educating women in a practical and useful way", to turn them into “sensible and able human beings free from dependence, that denies human dignity”. According to her, true feminism is to be shared by men and women. It is not to be seen simply as part of the social problems of class struggle or poverty. The rights of poor or wealthy women, commoners or aristocrats are to be taken in the same level of importance. On the other side, states Mrs. Osório, true feminism is not “a defense of the egotism of one sex against the other”. It is about altruism and women’s will to take their share in collective life, to improve the situation for all, for a better society. And as a true democrat, as well, she adds: “Good and practical ideas as they come from private initiative should be supported and followed by governments that respect public opinion”. (14)
CAROLINA BEATRIZ ÂNGELO
Last in the short list of the 1988 MP's in that historical session, Dr. Ângelo was specially remembered by her celebrated solitary act of voting, as a woman citizen, in the earliest election after the proclamation of the Republic - in the May 28 1911. She became the first southern European woman to exercise the right to vote. It was news all over Europe! In fact, she skillfully took advantage of the text of the electoral law that admitted to suffrage all citizens who were over 21, “heads of a family” and literate. As a 33 years old widow, the mother of a child, and a doctor by profession, she formally satisfied all the conditions required to vote. Nevertheless, being woman, her registration was denied by the authorities, because no electoral laws in the country had ever mentioned sex, either to include or exclude one, but women had always being implicitly barred. She went to court and won her case against the authorities. The Judge, who by the way, was a liberal republican and the father of Ana de Castro Osório (a true “feminist”, by his own daughter’s definition) decided in her favor. If the legislator intended to leave out the feminine sex, it should say so, unambiguously, ruled the Judge… In 1913, that is exactly what the law-makers did. Women had to wait for over 20 years to be integrated in a limited circle of officially registered participants in elections. (15).
We cited the favorable press Dr. Ângelo´s suffrage immediately obtained, at national and international level. We should also refer to the enthusiastic standing ovation she got from all men who had the privilege of witnessing the historical moment of her ballot vote. In the Portuguese Parliament in 1988 her daring act was once again given a round of applause.
Not only the few women we cited but also others, who were at their side a hundred years ago, are very similar to our contemporaries, as if they could be our sisters rather than our grand-mothers… I think the main explanation for this kind of “anachronism” is the fact that theirs was a more "feminine" feminism, by contrast with other concepts of their time as well as our own, at least in Portugal. A feminism inspired by the concept of gender equilibrium and cooperation, of "gender parity", as it is presently called, rather than "gender war", refusing rage or hate between sexes and preaching acceptance and tolerance between them. The uttered opinion of Ana de Castro Osório : "We never witnessed violent fights as in foreign countries where the feminist question turned out to be a true sex war.”
Gender parity is still what Portuguese legislators are seeking, in our Constitution and in our laws, along with the majority of women and men engaged in the fight for equality, even if some of them may disagree with the existing regulation imposing the “quota system”.(16 ) The reasons why they seem ahead of their times are certainly due to their own merit, to their own awareness of the social problems involved and the best possible solutions, but it is also partly explained by their position in family and society. They were a select small group of educated women linked by ideological as well as family ties with the republican movement. They came suddenly "out of the shadows" by their own free will, but with the help and complicity of men, with whom they shared beliefs and aims, destiny, global political projects for a future in which they had a role to play. They were ready to engage in the same revolution, to accept the same duties, to undergo the same risks as their fellow men. They believed that a Republic would mean general progress and would treat them as equal citizens with full civil, family and political rights. They were part of the cosmopolitan assertive leadership emerging in the Republican Party, conspiring side by side with parents, husbands, brothers and friends. In 1910 no Portuguese feminist could foresee that the laws on suffrage would remain unchanged. Their long fighting had started in full hope and amiable complicity with men, seen as allies not foes. For them laws concerning women’s rights were far behind social practices, because at least in their own upper class of cultured people they were treated as equals. The Republic, they felt sure, would instantly fill the space between law and life. We know how wrong they were…
3 - A FEMINIST AND REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT
A feminist and republican movement - as it was "two in one" in 1910. It makes a distinction when you differentiate the Portuguese example from others, even if ties between feminists groups with political parties existed elsewhere. In Portugal, the advent of the Republic was truly seen by the suffragists as a “prerequisite” for the achievement of their goal. On behalf of the Republic many of them would, in fact, in later years confirm a no-nonsense approach to politics, including the sacrifice of the vital issue of women's right to vote. They gave up equal suffrage, limiting their claim to a small circle of highly educated ladies... These exceptional women kind of “ladylike way of behaving” inside the political world, carefully staying away from foreign examples of extremism in their individual outward show in public life, and sometimes their manner of demanding equality and justice probably played against them. (16). Very often it does not pay off to be too much ahead of one’s times! Theirs was or is, as I see it, the right attitude for the new century, but then and there it was premature... Now we can afford reconciliation and harmony - or “synthesis”. A century ago it was time for “antithesis”, for unbending and hard opposition.
Lack of harshness was, on my opinion, only one of the main reasons for their (partial) failure: a kind of contradiction between their consistent and often brilliant writings or speeches, even if they were more or less temperate, and their way of political intervention, too "soft" to have the necessary impact. Another cause was dissent among them: dispute on what concerns priorities, the priority of many of them being education, employment and massive civic intervention initially and suffrage later – obviously, a very convenient order of precedence for the republican leaders. The movement did spit into several smaller circles because some of them were republicans above all - like Maria Veleda, the unconditional supporter of Afonso Costa and his radical Democratic Party - and others were more feminists than republicans, like Cabete and Osório, who never gave up the fundamental battle for suffrage, along with other more consensual issues, like education. Education was, as they all agreed upon, an indispensable basis of the emancipation of women. Radical, revolutionary or law abiding feminists, and even a more conservative non feminist wing, shared that conviction. (17) Education for women - a very limited number, of course - was already under way before the Republic was established, but from them on the focus was on the relevance of equal public instruction for both sexes, from primary to high school and to university, and it became an irreversible process that lasted during the period of the so called “New State". (18) . The trend that started in 1910, with the help of the feminist movements may be considered as the most important contribution of the Republic to the emancipation of women.
The refusal of universal suffrage was a major disillusion for the feminists. In a way, their suffragist campaign started hand in hand with their male associates, and they gave up the aim of immediate and full equality to help strengthening the new regime, until it could be self confident enough to be able to satisfy their demands. Unlike suffragists in England and almost everywhere, they seemed as afraid as men proved to be of the consequences of universal suffrage. It is well known that "leftist" parties feared the "conservative" vote of women - and the conservative parties, sure to gain by their voting, were simply against it... In Portugal, ruling republicans also rejected conservative male vote, artificially reducing the electoral universe to a very small percentage of the adult population… The hostile rural catholic and monarchist vote was largely reduced by the prerequisites of alphabetization and tax contribution.(19) Electoral laws introduced a few changes, but never eliminated these two very useful discriminations. Republican women were themselves, aware of the risk of endangering the future of the regime by adopting a system a liberal and open voting system. That explains their approval of the manipulation and cutback of the electoral universe. They never asked for the ballot vote for all women - just for the much reduced number of those who were educated, and considered as more republican than the others.... That is why they went as far as accepting unequal vote, according to sex.
Looking back , we must conclude that Republics, like France and Portugal, delayed fair treatment of female citizens for as long as they could and so many of the countries where women first obtained equal civil and political rights were - and remain! - Constitutional democratic monarchies. In Portugal, really, feminists had no alternative but to trust republicans, because there was no place for them in any of the monarchist parties, as the very few monarchists who were in favor of women's emancipation acknowledged. (20) The truth is, there was no proper place for them in the Republican public institutions, either... They worked hard for the revolution, they remained faithful to the republican principles, and I believe, their participation inside public institutions could have made a difference.
The incapacity of the republican politicians and parties to fairly engage women was a sign of the inevitable decline of the regime, lost by dissension and instability, centralist and authoritarian urges, and growing lack of public support. This is past History…
Feminist thoughts and ideals, as the parliamentarians of 1988 wanted to stress, are very much alive. The feminists of the Republic, their hopes and dreams, did have more future than present - the opposite of the regime... Many Portuguese of my generation still look at them as inspiring and amazing fighters, so gentle and strong, setting good examples and making us think that in 1910 we, too, would have been republicans and feminists. In 2010, we are simply democrats, and feminists, "true feminists", according to Osorio’s definition.
Maria Manuela Aguiar
Espinho, June 2010
(1) In “ O Primeiro de Janeiro”, 11 de Setembro, 1902
(2) João Esteves, “Mulheres e Republicanismo (1908-1928), Colecção “O Fio de Ariana”, Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Lisboa, 2008, p. 9-22)
(3)See for detailed comments one of the best books written in Portuguese on the situation of women around the world by Maria Lamas: “As Mulheres no Mundo”, Livraria Editora da Casa do Estudante do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro/Lisboa, 1952.
(4) There was a tremendous gap “north-south” on what concerns legislation and access to seats in Parliament, as a simple chronology clearly reveals: Spain 1924,1927; Portugal 1931,1935; France 1944, 1946; Italy,1945, 1946; Malta 1947,1947; Greece,1952, 1952
In Maria Reynolds de Sousa “A Concessão do Voto às Portuguesas”, colecção “O Fio de Ariana”, Comissão para a Igualdade e os Direitos das Mulheres, Lisboa 2006, p. 81-89
(5) In 1926 lawyer Elina Guimarães and writer Maria Lamas, were in their twenties. They, along with a few others, held the fight during Salazar’s regime and lived long enough to spend their last years in democracy. Public tribute to the highest degree was then paid to them.
(6) The NCPW , resisted for years, under the "Estado Novo" or "New State", along with the paper "Alma Feminina", where many of the texts and some of the reports on international congresses made by Adelaide Cabete were published . The “Council” was extinguished by Salazar's government in 1947, its last president being Maria Lamas.
(7) To Ana de Castro Osório the campaign was an opportunity for many Portuguese women: “women prisoners of stereotypes, deprived of ideals, aims and initiatives will now be in contact with the grand, romantic and valiant soul of the people, alive in our soldiers. In “Em tempo de Guerra, aos soldados e mulheres do meu país”, Lisboa, Editores Ventura e companhia, 1918, p 22.
(8)Maria Reynolds de Sousa, cit , p. 37.
(9) In “Diário da Assembleia da República”, Sessão Plenária, 8 de Março de 1988.
(10) Op cit, p. 2081-2082.
(11) Op cit, p. 2082-2084
(12) Op cit p. 2084-2085
(13)Op cit, p. 2085-2088. Mrs Osório's book "As Mulheres Portuguesas", published in 1905 is considered the first book written in favor of a feminist movement, as it would develop in the immediate future.
(14) Op cit, p. 2088. See letter from Dr Ângelo on the immediate effect of her ballot vote in « A Capital », 29 de Maio de 1911.
(15) In “Iniciativas para a Igualdade de Género”, Coordenação Maria Manuela Aguiar, Edição “Mulher Migrante, Associação de Estudo, Cooperação e Solidariedade”, VN Gaia, Rocha Artes gráficas,2006, p. 90-97
(16) Two statements by Cabete on education and on feminism show what we are trying to convey, that is, the blending of high principles with a certain kind of conventionality:
“It is necessary that the educated men takes care of the education of his companion, that the freed man takes her as a freed woman”.
“Feminism is not what it’s supposed to be by so many people – women eager to mimic men by smoking, by using white collars and ties and other ridiculous imitations.”
(17) Among the anti feminists, Maria Amália Vaz de Carvalho was one of the voices “pro” education for girls and one of the high schools in Lisbon is named after her.
(18) It enables us to be, right now, at the top of the ranking, worldwide, where percentages of women graduates in almost any area, from law to medical studies are well over 60%.
(19) The program of the Republican Party by the end of the XIX century, was definitely in favor of universal suffrage as well as a constituency system throughout the country - in the name of real decentralization of power. None was to be accomplished... Portugal had at the time a population of 5 million people and only one million could read and write, among them not much more than 300.000 women. According to successive laws only about 700.000 in the total population could register to vote...
(20) Dom Antonio da Costa, one of the few monarchist to support the rights of women, praises the program of the Republican party for the defense of equality of gender in a famous book published in 1892 : “A Mulher em Portugal"