12 April: Tribute to Petrona Eyle

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Petrona Eyle (18 January 1866 – 12 April 1945) was an Argentine physician and feminist who campaigned for Latin American women’s rights.

Life and Career

Petrona Eyle was born on 18 January 1866  in Baradero, in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated with a teaching degree in 1879 and then traveled to Switzerland to study medicine at the University of Zurich, the first European university to admit female students. Following her graduation in 1891, she returned home to Argentina and made history when she revalidated her degree to officially become a doctor in the country.

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In addition, Eyle has been actively involved with a variety of forward-looking organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women. The Association of University Women, a pioneering Argentinian feminist organization that fought for equal legal and social rights, was co-founded by her. As a result of her involvement there, Eyle also contributed to the organization of the First International Feminist Congress, held in Buenos Aires in 1910. Also a writer, she founded the magazine Nuestra Causa (Our Cause), in which she vehemently argued for women’s right to vote in the late 1910s.

In 1947, Argentina granted women the right to vote, thanks in no small part to Eyle and the women’s suffrage movement to which she contributed throughout her life.

On 12 April 1945, she passed away.

Award and Legacy

Her efforts left numerous legacies behind. A  street in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of Buenos Aires is named in Eyle’s honor. On 18 January 2021, Google Doodle celebrated Petrona Eyle’s 155th birthday.

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