"Don't cry for me Argentina, the truth is I never left you. All through my wild days, my mad existence, I kept my promise, don't keep your distance!"
From humble beginnings in rural Argentina to becoming the most powerful woman in Argentina, Eva ‘Evita’ Perón won the nation’s heart and left a lasting impression on the country’s social and political landscape before her death from cancer aged 33.
While she was never an elected official, as the First Lady of Argentina, Evita championed the plight of the voiceless working class, advanced women’s rights and granted disadvantaged children opportunities to pursue further education.
Ahead of the staging of the musical Evita at Montecasino, we’re looking back at four important causes Evita passionately championed during her lifetime.
A flag-bearer for gender equality
Following her marriage to Juan Domingo Perón in 1945, Eva broke gender stereotypes by campaigning alongside her husband, who was later elected president of Argentina. Although not officially elected, in 1946 the First Lady took ownership of the Ministries of Health and Labour, devoting her days to actively meeting with poor Argentinians, as well as offering assistance at hospitals and orphanages.
The right to vote
Passionate about the women’s right to vote, Perón actively spearheaded a movement that caused Argentina’s senate to sanction the women’s suffrage bill in 1946, before passing it into law in 1947. During the same period, Evita founded the Female Perónist Party - the women's wing of the Peronist Justicialist Party of Argentina comprised of female voters - further helping Argentinian women become more active in politics.
A helping hand to the sick and needy
In 1948, Perón founded the María Eva Duarte Social Help Foundation (later renamed Eva Perón Foundation) to help fight poverty in Argentina. She devoted most of her time to raising the plight of the working class, distributing medicine and funding to hospitals, schools and orphanages as well as supplying clothing, shoes and housing to homeless women and children. All funding for her foundation was attained from taxes and levies, unions and, businesses that were pressured to contribute.
In 1947, President Juan Domingo Peron willed into existence a new suburb located in the greater Buenos Aires. The suburb, designed in the shape of Evita’s profile with her signature bun was named Ciudad Evita by the Eva Perón Foundation, which was also responsible for funding it for the working class. However, after military coups overthrew President Juan Perón between 1955 and 1976, the city was renamed twice. Today, the city of Ciudad Evita is home to 70,000 people.
Join us as we celebrate the legacy of the woman known as the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina with EVITA.
Experience Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical from now until 26 November at The Teatro in Montecasino. Tickets are available at www.tsogosun.com.