Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


For most of the 19th century in Spain, political participation was restricted to a social minority (the bourgeoisie) by electoral role, as in practice, the politics were characterized by the adulteration of elections and by different “military raisings” (Coup d’état).

In nineteenth century Spain, feminism had less social influence than in other countries, due to the power of the Catholic Church, the society of the time, and the small industrial development.  
The first political goals of feminism demanded mostly social recognition and civil rights, rather than political claims.  

In Spain, social feminism was impulse mainly by two female intellectuals:

        Concepción Arenal (1820-1893): The protest book writer, who always emphasized the importance of the role of mother and wife, claiming that the experience of feminine life was not exclusively centered in the exercise of these roles. She always promoted women’s education, as the 70% of them were illiterate.

   Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921): This Galician writer related the small feminist movement of her time with the lack of women going to study. While in Europe feminist movements were arising, Spain wasn’t interested about it, but she was. Emilia expressed all her thoughts in her books, such as “La España Moderna” (Modern Spain), where Emilia reproached that the cultural and political changes of the 19th century only increased the distance between the sexes.


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