Feminists around the world: Carolina Beatriz Angelo

28 Mar 2017

Women suffragettes around the world: you may have heard about Emmeline Pankhurst or Susan B. Anthony. Have you ever heard of Carolina Beatriz Ângelo?

Carolina Beatriz Ângelo: the first woman to vote in Portugal

Carolina Beatriz Ângelo was born in 1878. She studied medicine in Lisbon. In 1902, upon completion of her course, she married Januário Barreto, a republican activist. She became the first female Portuguese physician to carry out surgery in the Hospital de São José in Lisbon, later dedicating her career to gynaecology. 
In 1907, she started been active in political circles and women's movements fighting for the right to vote. 

Carolina Beatriz Ângelo: the first woman to vote in Portugal
Carolina Beatriz Ângelo

At the time, the first electoral rule of the Portuguese Republic stated the right to vote for "Portuguese citizens over 21 years of age who could read and write and were heads of families". In 1911, a widow, she used the ambiguity of the law to use her right to vote. This is where your language classes pay dividend. In Portuguese words carry gender: -o for masculine and -a for feminine. However, the text stated Portuguese citizens in the plural (so grammatically masculine takes over). With no mention of gender, she used that to exercise her vote. She was a head of her family with a child and knew how to read and write. 
She wrote to the electoral commission asking for her name to be added to the electoral register. that request was denied. She then appealed in court. In 1911, a judge ruled in her favour:
"Excluding women ... just because they are women ... is simply absurd and unjust and in opposition to the very ideas of democracy and justice proclaimed by the Republican Party." He added that the law did not distinguish between men and women and so neither could he. He ordered she be added to the census straight away. 
On May 28, 1911, Carolina Beatriz Ângelo became the first Portuguese woman to ever vote into an election for the Portuguese assembly despite protests from the President of the polling station on the day. 
A couple of months later, Carolina Beatriz Ângelo complained of extreme fatigue. She died of a cardiovascular syncope in October that same year at the age of 33. 

Portuguese suffragettes
Carolina Beatriz Ângelo on the right with Ana de Castro Osório, President of the Suffragettes League in Portugal

In 1913, the electoral laws were changed to include gender, giving men only the right to vote. Portuguese women would have to wait 1931 and, ironically, the dictator Salazar, to be given the right to vote in Portugal. Even then, only women with secondary school education were allowed to do so. It is only in 1974, after the Revolution, that a more universal right to vote was granted. 

She was one strong woman. A great role model for our children.  

Books (in Portuguese) for kids:
Coragem e Sininho, Rosabela Afonso

Carolina Beatriz Ângelo: feminist and suffragette
Pin me to save for later
This post was written for the Women in World History series.

Women's History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Join us for our annual Women's History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don't miss our series from 2016 and 2015, and find even more posts on our Women's History board on Pinterest:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs's board Women's History on Pinterest.

March 1
modernmami on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 3 Reasons Why We Celebrate Women's History Month
March 2
The Jenny Evolution: More Children's Books About Amazing Women
March 3
Colours of Us: 32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models
March 6
modernmami: 103 Children's Books for Women's History Month
March 7
A Crafty Arab: The Arab Woman Who Carved Exquisite Beauty into Science
March 8
Hispanic Mama: 5 Children's Books About Latina Women

March 9
MommyMaestra: Free Download - Women's History Month Trading Cards
March 10
MommyMaestra on MommyMaestra on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Celebrating Women's History Month
March 13
Crafty Moms Share: First Ladies and Eleanor Roosevelt
March 14
Mama Smiles: Write Down Your Family's Women's History
March 15
Bookworms and Owls: Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
March 16
Creative World of Varya: 6 Quotes About Women from Various Religious Writings
March 17
Knocked Up Abroad: 7 Ways Swedish Women Can Revolutionize Your Life Today
March 20
La Cité des Vents on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Women in History or Women's Stories?
March 21
Pura Vida Moms: Anti-Princesa Books for Everyone
March 22
Melibelle in Tokyo: After Devestation, Life - Miki Sawada Mothers 2,000
March 23
All Done Monkey: Girls Who Changed the World
March 24
playexplorelearn: Women in Space
March 27
Family in Finland
March 28
the piri-piri lexicon
March 30
Let the Journey Begin

Don't miss our Women's History Month Activity Printables, on sale now!

Women's History Month Activity Printables

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback.