November 19, 1933. This is a date lost in history and where the participation of women in the general elections of Spain began. This right was approved two years ago, in 1931, and achieving it was not easy.
The woman who goes down in history as the visible face of this achievement is Clara Campoamor. He, who was elected deputy in the 1931 election, asked his party, the Radical Republican Party, to join the Constitution Commission, because a new text was being prepared.
As the politician and lawyer detailed in her book The Female Vote and I, she wanted to be part of this project because her “mortal sin is that discussing fundamental issues for women and children justifies the intervention of a woman in favor of concessions.”
And, finally, the right to vote for women is included in article number 36 of the Magna Carta, which states the following: “citizens of both sexes, over twenty-three years of age, shall have the same right to election.”
In debate with Victoria Kent
Although on November 19, 1933, all women in Spain for the first time were given the right to participate in general elections, the important date of this process was October 1, 1931. Then, the Plenary Session of Constituent Cortes met and , after an intense debate in which, among other deputies, Clara Campoamor and Victoria Kent participated, it was finally approved.
The focus of the debate, then, is “the level of knowledge of Spanish women about the postulates of the Republic, arguing, as one of the main factors, their connection to the Church”, which was collected from the Congress Archive, an argument that , they detail “also taken into account the right when voting in favor of the article.”
Campoamor is in favor of agreeing to this right, regardless of the consequences this process may have. Kent, however, was not in favor of giving this possibility. He is one of those who believe that they can be conditioned by their husbands and the Church, and this will strengthen the most conservative groups in the next election.
In any case, the debate culminated in approval by universal suffrage, with a total of 161 votes in favor and 121 against.
How the 1933 election was resolved
The first general election in which women participated was resolved with a clear victory for the right. But there are historians who reject that the women’s vote had anything to do with this result, as analyzed by Campoamor himself.
“Women also voted in 1936, and many of them for CEDA and the right-wing parties, and yet the left-wing parties won,” defended the politician and lawyer.