Activists » Women's Rights Activists » EVITA PERON
|Full name||: Evita Peron|
|Alias||: Evita Peron|
|Address||: Los Toldos, Argentina|
|Animals||: The Sheep|
|Father||: Juan Duarte|
|Mother||: Juana Ibarguren|
|Husband||: Juan Perón (1945–1952)|
|Activists||: Women's Rights Activists , Actresses, First Ladies|
Evita Peron was the second wife of President Juan Peron and the First Lady of Argentina. Before entering politics, she was a model and successful radio actress of Argentina. During 1946 presidential election, she campaigned heavily for her husband Juan Peron. During her visit to Spain as part of “Rainbow Tour”, the Spanish government awarded her with the Order of Isabella the Catholic. As a South American first lady, she was the first who featured in a cover story of “Time” magazine. She founded Eva Peron Foundation that worked towards providing scholarships, build homes and hospitals and other charitable work. This organization was also credited for creating Evita City. The organization had a crucial role in Argentina’s health care system. According to biographers Fraser and Navarro, she played an important role in getting Argentine women the right to vote. As the founder of the Female Peronist Party, she is credited for inspiring a large number of women to take active part in politics of Argentina. Her nomination as a candidate for the election of Vice-President angered many military leaders. She was the recipient of the official title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation”.
In Buenos Aires, her debut performance on stage was in the play ‘The Perezes Misses’ at the Comedias Theatre on 28 March 1935. In 1936, she went on a national tour with a theatre company.
She also worked as a model and got offer of acting in a few B-grade films. The turning point of her career came when she got the offer of a daily role in a radio drama titled ‘Muy bien’, broadcast on World Radio.
Later, she signed a five year contract with Radio Belgrano to act as Elizabeth I of England, Sarah Bernhardt and the last Tsarina of Russia in ‘Great Women of History’, a historical-drama program.
At that time, she even became the co-owner of the radio company. Apart from that, she also acted in a few movies which did not receive much success. By 1943, she became one of the highest paid radio actresses in the country.
In the same year, she began her career in politics as one of the founders of the Argentine Radio Syndicate. In 1944, she was selected as the President of the broadcast performers’ union.
As a president of this union, she started a daily program titled ‘Toward a Better Future’, a soap opera based on the accomplishments of Juan Peron, a Colonel. After her marriage with Juan Peron, she led a powerful campaign for her husband during the 1946 presidential bid.
For this purpose, she used to deliver speeches through her weekly radio program. In 1946, the Senate of Argentina sanctioned a new bill on women’s suffrage and she had played a significant role in this.
For political purpose, she went on the ‘Rainbow Tour’ of Europe in 1947. As part of this tour, she visited Spain, Rome, France and Switzerland where she met with a number of important dignitaries and heads of state.
On 8 July 1948, she set up the Fundacion Maria Eva Duarte de Peron that was reamed later as the Eva Peron Foundation. This organization was involved in charitable activities and used to provide scholarships.
In 1951, she set up the Female Peronist Party, the first female political party in the country with 500,000 members and 3,600 headquarters across Argentina. In the same year, she secured her place as a potential candidate for the election of Vice-President for which she received great support from the Argentines.
Evita Peron was born as Maria Eva Duarte de Peron. She was the youngest of five children of Juan Duarte and Juana Ibarguren. Her father, who already had a wife and family, was an affluent rancher from nearby Chivilcoy, Buenos Aires.
She spent her childhood in Junin, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. When she was barely a year old, her father returned back to his legal wife. Poverty-stricken Juana Ibarguren and her children had to move to the poorest area of Jurin where Juana earned her livelihood by doing needlework.
Initially, they used to live in a one-room apartment there. Later, they shifted to a bigger house. At that time, Evita developed an interest towards acting by participating in school plays and concerts.
In October 1933, she acted in her school play ‘Students Arise’. After playing this small role, she contemplated about pursuing a career in acting and dreamt of becoming a great and successful actress.
In 1934, she escaped to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to fulfil her dream of becoming a successful actress. After reaching the capital, she faced lots of difficulties due to lack of formal education and connections.
On 22 January 1944, she met Colonel Juan Peron who was twice her age, at a fundraising programme for earthquake victims. Within a short period, she became the Colonel’s mistress.
It is said that, when Juan was in prison, she organized a rally of thousands for his release from the prison. On 18 October, 1945, they got married in a civil ceremony. Later, they had a church wedding on 9 December, 1945.
She was suffering from cervical cancer for which she went through several surgeries. She passed away at the age of 33. She was granted a state funeral.