Valencia owes part of her freedom and history to women who, during the 20th Century, tried to fight to be part of the political, intellectual and artistic scenery. They were women engaged in politics, like, for example, Clara Campoamor, member of the Radical Party, who fought to give women the right to vote. At that time, in fact, even the most brilliant and open-minded politicians thought that spanish women were excessively conservative and for this reason they stood up to avoid them to vote. Thanks to Campoamor, who hardly believed in women’s sense of social responsibility, universal suffrage was established.
Moreover the Republican Constitution granted a more equalized relation between women and men rights, introducing a new legislation on maternity and legalizing the divorce among some of the new welfare measures.
Valencian new approach to politics was also due to Balbina Medrano Aranda and Federica Montseny. The first one, known also as Guillermina Supervía, was the first female mayor of the city as Republican Left’s representative and member of the Republican Socialist Radical Party. She was also involved in topics related to catalan spread and teaching and also in the recovery of memory of historical women.
Federica Montseny was the first female Minister into Spanish Government. She was part of Francisco Largo Caballero’s government and Minister of Health during the Civil War and she is remembered as one of the most active politicians who fought to promote abortion legalization.
In front of the Main Theater we will learn the story of María Llácer Rodrigo, a popular opera singer, who succeeded in some of the most important theaters of the Great War time such as Madrid, Bolonia, Berlin and Vienna. Although she was not the only protagonist of Valencia’s cultural scenery, in fact we will talk about Sala Blava, made up by a group of dissidents coming from the Fine Arts Academy of Valencia and especially about Manuela Bellester, one of the first Painting female students and designer of the electoral poster of the Popular Front in occasion of the elections in 1936.
Other historical female protagonists were: Matilde Salvador i Segarra, music composer and painter and the seamstress and stylist Beatriu Civera, who was also engaged in writing and remembered as the first woman who wrote for a Valencian newspaper.
Intellectuals coming from Madrid, because of an evacuation that took place during the Civil War, were hosted in Casa de la Cultura, a neuralgic center for the city’s cultural life and committed in fighting against fascism and injustice as the Free Women Group which became involved in promoting female emancipation related to culture, work and gender.
We will not forget to talk about Carmelina Sánchez-Cutillas and Maria Beneyto Cuñat, member of the Valencian poets generation in the 50s, and both of them remembered as writers committed in producing poems and novels in both castilian and valencian languages.
These women are part of our guided tour with which we want to thank them and make known the important role they had.