Josefa Abiertas was a famous woman leader. She worked to make her country a better place to live in. She tried hard to improve her community and the lives of people around her.
Josefa’s Early Education
Josefa Abiertas was born sometimes in 1894 in Capiz. She and her brother became orphans when they were young. A kind aunt, Guillerma Aday, took care of her.
Josefa studied in Capiz. She was always at the head of her class, for she was very bright. She was always reading good books. She finished her studies in the high school as the valedictorian.
Josefa then studied law in the Philippine Law School. After graduating, she took the examination for lawyers. She was the only woman in a big group of five hundred graduates. To the surprise of many people, she received the highest grade in the examination.
Josefa Improves The Community
As a lawyer, Josefa worked day and night to improve the condition of the people and the place where she lived. She worked to have gambling places and dance halls closed. She did this so that there would be no places for men to go and throw away their money. She also joined a society whose work was to stop young people from taking alcoholic drinks.
Josefa helped poor farmers. The poor farmers did not own any land. They planted land owned by rich people. Josefa protected their rights. She prevented landowners from cheating them.
Josefa was offered a position with a big salary in a factory. She refused the position because the workers there well not well treated. She said to the owner: “If you wish me to accept the position, you will have to treat your workers better.”
Josefa, the Leader
Josefa was always the best in everything she tried. She could make a speech very well. When she finished law in the Philippine Law, she delivered a speech called “The New Age For Women.” This speech is still recited today by students.
Josefa became a leader in the movement to allow women to vote. She gave speeches in many places and talked about this right. She was able to convince people that women should be allowed to vote.
Her active life was cut short by death. As a child she was sickly. Her continuous work affected her health. She contracted tuberculosis and died on Christmas Day in 1929.
Today there is a welfare home named after her. This home is called the Josefa Abiertas House of Friendship.
Josefa Abiertas will always be remembered as a woman leader who worked to improve the conditions in our country.