Analysing the participation of women in the first paediatric congresses, it stands out that many of them belonged to feminist organisations and that, in addition to the pursuit of their cause, they were concerned about children, including educational and legal aspects.
We reviewed the minutes and publications related to the first five National Paediatric Congresses (NCPs) (1914-1933), biographies of the participants and publications on feminism in the 1920s and 1930s.
Fourteen women participated in the first 5 NPCs, 15% from the health care field, 65% from the field of education and 29% from the field of law. Seven of them belonged to feminist organisations (50%). Two generations of feminists participated in the NPCs. Women from the first generation were actively involved in the National Association of Spanish Women, most of who held positions in administration and worked in the education field. Women from the second generation were organised around the Juventud Universitaria Femenina (University Young Women’s Organization) and worked in law. Their participation in the NPCs had to do with these issues, education and children’s rights. They also promoted other activities to advocate for children at a social level, such as the “school canteens”, “school breakfasts” or the “Children’s Club”, which provided leisure activities for disadvantaged groups.
The women whose activity we reviewed, through their feminist perspective of life, not only worked for women’s rights, but also strove to improve the lives of children and to achieve the recognition of their rights.
Keywords: Feminism. Pediatric Congresses.