The UK has Emmiline Pankhurst, Spain has Clara Campoamor when it comes to icons of women’s suffrage.
Born in Madrid, Campoamor was one of the first women to enter Parliament in Spain and had a long history of feminism and campaigning for universal suffrage.
During the 1931 elections women could not vote but they could stand to be MPs. Campoamor and fellow lawyer Victoria Kent were the only two women elected.
Their work on the Constitutional Committee helped to enshrine the principle that women had the same rights as men in the Spanish Constitution of 1931 – with one glaring disagreement.
Malaga-born Kent, as a member of the Radical Socialist Republican Party, felt that it was too soon to allow women the vote.
Far left thought at the time was that women tended to be too conservative and in thrall to the Catholic Church and so would most likely vote right wing.
Campoamor, a member of the Radical Party, saw it as a human rights issue and was instrumental in achieving suffrage for women in time for the 1933 elections after ‘winning’ a debate with Kent.
Campoamor and Kent had already shown herself to be an inspiration to women. They were the first two female members of the Madrid Law Association having both broken a glass ceiling by entering university to study law.
Campoamor went into exile during the Civil War and died in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1972 at the age of 82.
Kent too was exiled and died in New York aged 96 in 1987.