Women's Studies Encyclopedia
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Items per page: 10 20 50 This article will contextualize this organization, both in the Portuguese political scene and in the context of feminist activism. Although there were some initiatives in the s, it was only after the after the revolution  that significant attention to and interest in the theme developed. Part of the women engaged in the League shared political space with, and fought similar battles to, those in the republican movement.
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These four women, though they had different backgrounds, played key roles in several political and civic fields. She defended the need for equal rights even in Freemasonry. Maria Veleda advocated for the extension of emancipation ideals to working class women. Consequently, feminists expected to acquire in the new republican regime the civil and political rights that they had been denied during the constitutional monarchy.
These expectations were ultimately not fulfilled but there was a close relationship between republicans and the most politically, socially and culturally active women. Despite the divisions in the feminist movement, there were still signs of organizational vitality. New organizations appeared which did not have a close connection with the republicans: in , the Union of Socialist Women was created and saw the appearance of the Conselho Nacional das Mulheres Portuguesas Portuguese National Council of Women , a non-partisan organization without a political or religious orientation which was the Portuguese branch of the International Council of Women.
In a country with high female illiteracy rates, women fought for the right to a better and more comprehensive education. Adelaide Cabete, the founder of the Portuguese National Council of Women, was present in two international feminist meetings, in Rome in organized by the International Women Suffrage Alliance and in Washington in organized by the International Council of Women.
Participation in the First World War opened a very important debate in Portuguese society and a cleavage between its supporters and the vast and heterogeneous group of political agents and groups who, for different reasons, stood against intervention in the war, namely on the Western Front. This organization collected donations, clothing and materials for deployed soldiers and victims of war, working alongside municipalities, female schoolteachers and other women's associations.
It has been studied as a key feature of the history of Portuguese feminism.
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According to its statutes,  the CMP was a patriotic and humanitarian institution, aiming to provide material and moral assistance to those in need due to the state of war with Germany. These women wanted to mobilize efforts to assist both the soldiers at the front and their families back home assuming, for example, the responsibility for the organization Obra Maternal to help the war orphans.
The CMP was organized in different commissions all elected every three years with distinctive tasks such as propaganda , donations, hospitalization, nursing and assistance to deployed military personnel, their wives and families. The organization also relied on donations, some of them from Brazil and the Portuguese colonies.
The CMP launched several initiatives and projects, the majority of which were closely linked to the idea of women as caregivers. Nevertheless, the women from the Crusade rejected the idea that their work was restricted to the field of charity. The CMP was involved in the management of hospitals the president of this committee was Alzira Costa.