For a look into the life of a remarkable woman born and raised a hundred years ago and who paved a path for women in politics, we recommend the memoirs of a Filipina suffragist: A String of Pearls by Paz Policarpio Mendez, published by The Women's Media Circle Foundation (1998). Here are some excerpts from the book: "The most challenging event of my junior year (1919) was the debate on woman suffrage. I recall neither my partner nor my opponents... but I rebutted my opponents' claim that politics was dirty business and women should not get involved in it. 'If it is dirty,' I retorted, 'Who made it dirty? The men, since they are the only ones who can vote now. Women should step in and clean it.'" On raising children, pursuing her career, and the status of Filipinas in the first half of the 20th century: "I had no intention of giving up my social and intellectual activities to be a full-time house-wife mother. I had always believed that every woman should have a career outside the home... I was convinced that a law was needed which would allow a woman on maternity leave to collect her salary in full. The low status of women had disturbed me ever since my father ran for presidente of San Isidro. There I was, a mere teenager, teaching our male tenants to write so they could qualify as voters, while the literate adult women in town were forbidden to cast their ballots." Times certainly have changed for today's Pinays, and although theirs was a very different kind of politics and feminism we have the Filipina suffragists, our great-grandmothers, to thank for where we are and what we are capable of now.
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Book Description Circle Publications, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG9719137002