Biography of Esmeralda Arboleda Cadavid (1921-1997)

Senator, Minister, and Colombian diplomat, born in Palmira (Valle del Cauca) and died in Bogotá, Colombia on April 16, 1997. They were her parents Fernando Arboleda López and Rosa Cadavid Medina. Married in a first marriage to Antioquia engineer Samuel Uribe pits, with whom he/she had his son Sergio. He/She later returned to marry Francisco Cuevas, Ambassador of Mexico to the United Nations. He/She studied primary school in the College of education of Pereira, and secondary school of the girls houses of Santa Fe de Bogotá. In 1939 he/she joined the Faculty of law of the Universidad del Cauca, where he/she already began to be linked to different political movements, always in the ranks of the liberal party, which not only identified by family tradition, but because he/she believed it was the most open in terms of concepts, ideas and criteria. After graduating, he/she worked as a lawyer in the defense of the workers of the Pacific railroad. He/She had his private office in Cali and then in Santa Fe de Bogotá, where he/she decided to work in defense of the woman. He/She was opposed to all forms of dictatorship and oppression from the end of the 1950s. He/She participated in campaigns of Alberto Lleras Camargo and Carlos Lleras Restrepo, was Secretary of the liberal party. The first named her Minister of communications, and during the reign of the second was Ambassador in Austria and to the United Nations. During the performance of this last position he/she came into contact with groups fighting for the rights of women in several countries, such as France and Belgium.

It was Senator twice, taking forward projects of laws for the benefit of Colombian women, as they were that promoted the abolition of political discrimination of women; which abolished the marital power (project to which the Catholic Church was strongly opposed), and the project of promotion of the publishing industry, which is excluded from the payment of taxes to publishing material that came to the country.Esmeralda Arboleda was a woman who has, among its merits, being the first Colombian who undertook the struggle for the rights of women in their country. He/She was the first woman to pursue a university career, against the conceptions of their relatives and the prevailing mentality. Both from his post of Secretary of the Liberal from the seat of Senator, always fought for the women's organization. With their talent, tenacity and intelligence, managed to locate the height of men who he/she most admired: Baldomero Sanín Cano, Alberto Lleras Camargo and Carlos Lleras Restrepo.