Tag Archives: Jad Adams

Tcheng Soumay

Tcheng Soumay (also known as Tcheng Yu-hsiu and Madame Wei Tao-ming) was a lawyer and campaigner for democracy and women’s rights. She was active in China in the first half of the twentieth century when the ancient empire was toppled and competing factions fought for the soul of the new republic.

Soumay (to use her first name) was born to a wealthy family in Canton. Her father was a government official, her mother was the daughter of a general. It was usual to bind the feet of upper class girls, so their gait was ‘dainty.’ Always a rebellious child, Soumay refused to have her feet bound, ripping off the bandages. Her father was sympathetic, he encouraged her inquiring intellect and, wanting to take her around in public with him, dressed her as a boy. Continue reading Tcheng Soumay

Mathilde Hidalgo de Procel – First in Everything

Ecuador was the first Latin American state to enfranchise women, in 1929.  The pioneer who symbolised women’s striving for emancipation in a cruelly conservative society was Mathilde Hidalgo de Procel.

She was born Mathilde Hidalgo in Loja, Ecuador in 1889 in a family of six children.  Her father died when she was young and her mother was obliged to work as a seamstress to keep the family.  Mathilde attended a convent school, and she was an academic child but her education was soon to stop as senior schools were reserved for boys in Ecuador.

Continue reading Mathilde Hidalgo de Procel – First in Everything