She Dared to Run: The Unlikely Story of Prudencia Ayala

By Isabel Castillo

Two decades before fellow Salvadoran women could vote, Prudencia Ayala became the first woman to run for president in Latin America.

This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on closing the gender gap | Leer en español The 1931 presidential contest in El Salvador is usually remembered for being the first competitive election in the country’s history The triumph of Arturo Araujo, a prominent landowner, seemed to inaugurate an era of greater democratization Until it didn’t: After only nine months, a military coup overthrew Araujo and brought El Salvador back to a path of strongmen and repression (including a shocking peasant massacre in 1932), all common features of Central American politics at the...

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