4 February: Tribute to Concepción Arenal

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Concepción Arenal (31 January 1820 – 4 February 1893) was a graduate in law, thinker, journalist, poet and Galician dramatic author within the literary Realism and pioneer in Spanish feminism.

Life and Career

She was born on 31 January 1820 in Ferrol, Spain. Her father, Ángel del Arenal y de la Cuesta, was a liberal military officer who was often imprisoned for his ideology and opposition to the regime of Ferdinand VII. He fell ill in prison and died in 1829 when Concepción was aged 9. She graduated and in 1848 she married lawyer and writer Fernando García Carrasco.  She once said,

Open schools and prisons will be closed.

A staunch advocate for women’s rights and devoted to helping those marginalized in society, Arenal is remembered in Spain as a pioneer of the feminist movement and for being the first woman to attend a university in her homeland.

Concepción Arenal died the morning of 4 February 1893 of chronic bronchitis in Vigo, where she was buried a day later.

Award and Legacy

Arenal’s achievements were extraordinary in a largely traditional Spain, focusing her work on those marginalized in society. She wrote not only extensively on the state of prisons for both men and women, but also on the role of women in society in works such as La Mujer del Porvenir

On 31 January 2015, Google Doodle celebrated Concepción Arenal’s 195th Birthday.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,