14 September: Tribute to Adelaide Cabete
On 25 January 2023, Google Doodle celebrated Adelaide Cabete’s 156th Birthday. She was a Portuguese feminist, humanitarian, physician, and activist who tirelessly fought for women’s rights and equality in the 20th century. She was also the founder and president of the Conselho Nacional das Mulheres Portuguesas (The National Council of Portuguese Women).
Life and Career
Cabete was born on 25 January 1867 near Elvas, Portugal. She worked as a housemaid as a child to support her family. Despite not having the time to attend school, she was able to learn how to read and write on her own. At the age of 23, she completed her high school diploma with distinction. At the age of 33, she earned her medical degree from the Medical-Surgical School in Lisbon, becoming only the third Portuguese woman to do so. In her thesis, she advocated for the protection of pregnant women and the extension of maternity leave in Portugal.
She founded the Republican League of Portuguese Women in 1909 and the National Council of Portuguese Women (CNMP) in 1914, both of which supported disadvantaged women and children and promoted women’s emancipation. Besides educating other women about childcare and feminine hygiene, Cabete actively promoted the establishment of maternity hospitals.
In addition to being the lead editor of the CNMP’s bulletin, Alma feminina, she wrote several articles about social and medical equality for women. In 1924 and 1928, she was instrumental in organizing the first two feminist congresses in Portugal, which promoted women’s political, civil, educational, and economic rights.
Throughout her life, she actively advocated for women’s suffrage and laid the groundwork for feminist movements to follow. Her fearless leadership makes Cabete one of the most important figures in Portuguese society.
14 September 1935 marked the date of her death in Lisbon.