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Latinas in the U. In times of revolution, women have led the way. While history may remember some women such as Policarpa Salavarrieta, a pro-independence spy whose portrait is displayed on the 10, peso bill, many others — mostly Black and Indigenous women — remain forgotten.
In some cases, scarce information on these female leaders still exist despite their relevance to important moments in history. For example, little is known about Polonia, a powerful palenquera, or free Black woman, that in times of slavery led a small army to fight a Spanish conquistador.
Still, a diverse group of scholars and educators are taking steps to tell a more inclusive of history — sometimes collecting oral s from descendants to uncover long-forgotten stories. In times of colonization, Indigenous authorities were known as caciques. The Cacica Gaitana was one of the few women to hold this position of power.
In retaliation, the Cacica Gaitana galvanized a group of more than 6, Indigenous soldiers to attack the Spanish cohort. Described as a palanquera, Polonia was one of the many slaves who escaped and formed their own free towns. According to the Ministry of Culture, Polonia pacted a deal with the conquistador after the battle in to trade lands and to free her army. However, she was ultimately deceived. Still, Polonia is remembered for her bravery as one of the first Afro-descendent women in Colombia to lead a movement of resistance. When the Viceroyalty of New Granada was established inmillions came to live under the tyranny of the Spanish Empire.
Inwhen an increase in taxes were announced, the year-old woman of Spanish descent not only tore the edict in two, but mobilized 1, commoners to protest the colonial government in the town square of Socorro.
This unrest spread to other territories, such as modern Venezuela and southern Colombia. That same year, her real identity was found out and she was executed by a firing squad. Today, the anniversary of her death on November 14 is commemorated with Day of the Colombian Woman, a national holiday.
After Colombia broke free from Spaniard rule inthe provincial government of what we know today as Sucre attempted to dispossess poor farmers of their land and hand them over to royalists of Spanish descent, according to one. As she fought to keep her home, she also organized fellow peasant farmers to resist large-scale landowners, sparking a lands rights movement that spread throughout the province. Led by her passion for literature, Cano called for the creation of a library that would be free and open to the public — this is considered her first act of activism.
Shortly afterward, she demanded the liberation of jailed union members and mobilized against the death penalty and in favor of civil rights. Following this tragedy and her marginalization in the socialist movement, Cano quietly retired from public life. At the time of the strike, Espinal was a year-old textile worker.
After suffering many abuses from her bosses, Espinal galvanized female textile workers to demand equal pay and an end to exploitative practices, such as sexual harassment and long work days. The protest worked, and many of their demands were met. However, Espinal was fired in an act of retaliation by superiors.
Still, the history of the strike lived on and inspired similar protests in the following years. Esmeralda Arboleda is known as the first woman elected to the Colombian Senate in She was also the first woman to study at the University of Cauca and the first woman to practice law in southwestern Colombia. Congress approved the bill inwith women exercising their newly won right three years later.
Culture By Christina Noriega.Famous colombian females
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