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A Filipina Activist Appeals to the New England Woman's Suffrage Association

In this excerpt from an address to the annual meeting of the New England Woman's Suffrage Association, Clemencia Lopez, an activist in the struggle for Philippine independence, makes common cause with women of the American suffrage movement. She refers to the equality between women and men, which she says existed in her homeland "long prior to the Spanish occupation." Lopez also implores the Association to "do what it can to remedy all this misery and misfortune" caused by American military efforts against Filipinos who resisted U.S. occupation.

I believe that we are both striving for much the same object — you for the right to take part in national life; we for the right to have a national life to take part in. . . . Mentally, socially, and in almost all the relations of life, our women are regarded as the equals of our men. . . . this equality of women in the Philippines is not a new thing. It was not introduced from Europe. . . Long prior to the Spanish occupation, the people were already civilized, and this respect for and equality of women existed. . . in the name of the Philippine women, I pray the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association do what it can to remedy all this misery and misfortune in my unhappy country. You can do much to bring about the cessation of these horrors and cruelties which are today taking place in the Philippines, and to insist upon a more human course. . . you ought to understand that we are only contending for the liberty of our country, just as you once fought for the same liberty for yours..

Source | Clemencia Lopez, "Women of the Philippines: Address to Annual Meeting of the New England Woman's Suffrage Association, May 29, 1902," The Woman's Journal, 7 June 1902.
Creator | Clemencia Lopez
Item Type | Speech
Cite This document | Clemencia Lopez, “A Filipina Activist Appeals to the New England Woman's Suffrage Association,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 18, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1263.

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