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date: 28 May 2017

Women, Politics, and Media in Uruguay, 1900–1950

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. Please check back later for the full article.

As citizens of a relatively educated, democratic, and politically progressive South American country, women of Uruguay used old and new media for professional and political ends in the first half of the 20th century. Radical, Catholic, and liberal feminist women all utilized print media to promote their views and to build support for their respective causes, in publications aimed at both female and general audiences. Anarchist feminist María Collazo, for example, edited an important publication, La Batalla, from 1915 to approximately 1927. By the late 1920s, radio was an emerging mass medium, and women activists, journalists, and others sought to make their voices heard, literally and figuratively, on its airwaves. Starting in 1935, this included Radio Femenina, the first all-woman format radio station in the Western Hemisphere. One of the voices heard on Radio Femenina was Dr. Paulina Luisi, Uruguay’s leading feminist activist, who became a powerful voice for both the Socialist Party and the politics of the Popular Front in the late 1930s and early 1940s.