was the first woman who earned a commercial pilot’s license in South America.
She achieved this in 1937 in her native Argentina.
Her achievements include piloting an amphibious
aircraft on a 4000-mile journey, from Panama to Argentina, in 1940, and flying
to Uruguay with two other female aviators in 1943, officially representing
Argentina. She was also a strong proponent of women’s rights and fought for the
recognition of female aviators.
Marie Durocher (1809-1893) was a Brazilian
physician, specialised in obstetrics. She was the first female doctor in Latin America.
She obtained her
degree from the Medical School of Rio de Janeiro in 1834, after which she
practiced her profession for 60 years. She cared for pregnant women and helped deliver
babies from all social classes, from the poorest to the grandchildren of the
Emperor. In 1871 she became the first female member of the National Academy of
de Ascarza (1929-2017) was a Peruvian human rights activist. She is seen as a symbol
of those who lost their loved ones due to the internal violence in Peru.
In 1983, her 19-year-old son was abducted by the military for supposed
Communist sympathies. In response, she formed the National Association of
Relatives of the Kidnapped, Detained and Disappeared of Peru. The organization
had its first march in 1985, and Mendoza continued to participate in its
activities until her death.
(b. 1951) served as the President of Chile for two terms, 2006-2010 and
2014-2018. She was the first woman in this position and the first President to
be re-elected since 1932.
She previously served in positions such as Minister of Health and Minister
of National Defense in her country, as well as executive director of UN Women.
During her time as President she implemented numerous strategies aimed at gender
equality and the protection of vulnerable groups.
Ernestina Pérez Barahona (1865-1951) was one
of the first women to graduate with a medical degree in Chile. She was the
second female doctor in the country and in the whole South American continent,
graduating days after her compatriot Eloísa Díaz Insunza.
She graduated from Universidad de
Chile in 1887, at the age of 21. She went on to specialise in gynecology in
Berlin, where she was physically separated from her all-male classmates by a screen.
She returned to Chile and dedicated her career to the advancement of female
education and health.
Ana María Romero de Campero (1941-2010) was a
Bolivian politician and human rights activist. She was the first Defensor del Pueblo (Human Rights
Ombudswoman) in the country.
She was the first female president
of the Association of Journalists, and later became President of the National
Press Association. At the time of her death she was the President of the
Milka Duno (b. 1972) is a Venezuelan race car driver, best known for holding the female record for the 24 Hours of Daytona Race. She was also the first woman to ever win a Ferrari Challenge Race.
Her racing career started in 1996, at the age of 24. Prior to that, she obtained master’s degrees in fields such as Naval Architecture and Marine Biology, and worked as a naval engineer.
Ana Rosa Tornero (1907-1984) was a prominent feminist activist in
Bolivia. She founded the first feminist organisation in the country, Ateneo Feminista, in 1923.
She was also the publisher of the first
feminist magazine in Bolivia,
in 1922. In 1947, she was the head of the organising committee of
the first Interamerican Women’s Congress, which dealt with human rights,
education and liberty of expression for women across Latin America.
Uribe (1900-1988) was a significant women’s rights activist in her native
country of Colombia. She was also active in politics, a member of the Colombian
She fought for the rights of women to manage their own wealth, and to economic
independence. She was the founder of a magazine entitled Agitación Femenina, and continued her advocacy there, as well as in
other national papers.
Julieta Montaño (b. 1946) is a
Bolivian attorney who established a reputation as a defender of human and women’s
rights. She served as the Vice President of the Human Rights Assembly in
Bolivia, and the head of the Union of Bolivian Women.
In 1985, she founded
the Legal Office for Women, focused on promoting women’s rights and protecting
them from violence and abuse. Her activism led to the passing of a law which
punishes femicide with 30 years in prison in Bolivia, one of the harshest punishments
for the crime in the world.