Maria De la Cruz
Chilean democracy activists
Chilean women writers
Chilean democracy activists Forum
Maria de la Cruz Toledo was a Chilean political activist for Women's suffrage, journalist, writer, and political commentator. In 1953 she became the first woman ever elected to the Chilean Senate.
De la Cruz was born in Chimbarongo, Chile, the daughter of Marco Aurelio de la Cruz and of Edicia Toledo. She studied at the Colegio Rosa de Santiago Concha and the Liceo N5 of Santiago. From a very young age she started writing articles and poems. In 1940 she published a book of poems (Transparencias de un Alma), and in 1942 a short novel (Alba de Oro). She was also the publisher and editor of the magazine Luz y sombra (Light and Shadows), dedicated to promote culture among and understanding of blind people. As a radio journalist, she made a name for herself in Radio "Nuevo Mundo", where her daily magazine program Maria de la Cruz habla (Maria de la Cruz speaks out) was a great success!
Through her radio program and her writings, she focused on increasing the political participation of women in politics and exposed the struggle of Chilean women to obtain the right to vote. In 1946, De la Cruz founded the Feminine Party of Chile. These actions were the culmination of a long struggle that began in 1913 and ended in 1949, when president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla signed the law that granted the right to vote to women in Chile.
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