I demanded more rights for women, because I know what women had to put up with
It’s almost impossible to think of Eva Perón without thinking of the musical Evita and the moving song Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.
The real Evita died a quarter of a century before the curtain opened on this version of her life story, at the age of 33.
Starting out as an actress, Eva Duarte had married politician and General Juan Perón in 1944. He became president the following year.
Evita soon became a passionate champion of the most deprived in society, the descamisados (shirtless ones) and soon became a heroine to the poor. She had been born and raised in poverty herself.
“I had watched for many years and seen how a few rich families held much of Argentina’s wealth and power in their hands,” she later wrote.
The military and the rich remained wary of her, however. “I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows,” she once said.
Her death prompted a wave of mourning to sweep across Argentina. The new Queen of England, Elizabeth II, was amongst those from around the world to send her condolences.
Although a campaign by some of those among Eva’s adoring public tried to have her canonised as a saint, they did not succeed. Yet her legacy and legend have lived on, long after her death.