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NFWC Philippines Marker Installed in Quezon Memorial
On September 15, 2022, the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines (NFWCP) together with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) unveiled a historical marker memorializing the organization’s foundation.
The marker was installed at the Quezon Heritage House inside the premises of the Quezon Memorial Circle, aptly commemorating the contributions of President Manuel L. Quezon who in 1937 signed the Women’s Suffrage Act enabling Filipino women among the very first in the world to participate in formal democratic elections – well ahead of their counterparts in the United States of America.
The marker was officially turned over to the Local Government of Quezon City led by Mayor Joy Belmonte after the unveiling.
President Quezon signing the Women's Suffrage Act
The women suffragettes who campaigned for the right to vote in the 1920s to the 1930s were also rallied by then President Quezon to campaign for the ratification of the 1935 Constitution where the equal rights of men and women in the democratic government was enshrined among other social justice provisions.
Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon – First Lady to the first Commonwealth President of the Philippines is a known supporter of women’s clubs even before the campaign for women’s suffrage.
For her contributions, friendship, and collaboration, NFWC recognizes Doña Aurora Quezon as the first Honorary President of the Federation.
The victorious fight for women suffrage signaled the emergence of the Filipino woman in equal partnership with men in the political arena. In a very real sense, because of both President Quezon’s and Doña Aurora’s commitment to the campaign for women’s suffrage, Philippine society began to acknowledge Filipino women in a new perspective and see in the Filipino woman a new personality, recognizing her in her finest qualities to serve God, country, and home.
In her message during the event, Arevalo expressed her gratefulness to the establishment of the Women’s Club as a vanguard for advocating the rights and welfare of women.
“Dito nabuo ang mga layunin at tungkulin ng organisasyon, particular na ang gawaing sibiko at pangkawanggawa, na tumutugon sa kapakanan ng sangkababaihan ng Pilipinas, tulad ng karapatang bumoto, (Here formed the objectives and duties of the organization, particularly the conduct of civic works, advocacies, and charities that promote the welfare of women in the Philippines, like the right to vote),” she said.
Belmonte, for her part, thanked the NHCP and NFWC for entrusting the historical marker to the Local Government of Quezon City.
She also pointed out the achievement of the Women’s Club, as the Philippines became one of the earliest countries in the world to grant women the right to vote at year 1937.
“A cursory glance at the data of women’s suffrage shows that the Philippines chose to grant this right relatively early compared to other countries, even those belonging to today’s developed world,” she said.
Also present as witnesses were Enrique Quezon-Avanceña, descendant of Manuel Quezon and Aurora Aragon Quezon, National Federation of Women’s Clubs President Linda P. Gonzalez, NFWC Foundation President Mary Jane C. Ortega, and NHCP Deputy Executive Director Alvin R. Alcid.