WHO SPEAKS FOR THE WOMEN OF MEXICO?
CARRANZA DID NOT specifically exclude women from voting in the elections for deputies or from membership in the Constitutional Congress called to meet in the provincial city of Querétaro in December, 1916, and January, 1917. In the Decree of September 14, 1916, however, he restricted candidacy to those eligible to run for deputy under the Constitution of 1857, which included qualification as an elector under a national electoral law which limited voting to males. The Decree of September 19 set the election date for Sunday, October 22, and authorized all those persons to vote who "are considered residents of the states qualified to vote for Deputies to the Congress."1 Under these provisions women did not vote nor offer themselves as candidates for deputies to the Constitutional Congress, which opened with an all-male cast in Querétaro in December. The Congress gave no serious consideration to the political rights for women although it did write into the Constitution important rights for workingwomen. Article 123 of the new charter entitled workingwomen to childbirth benefits, to protection against nightwork and against certain types of heavy and dangerous labor.
Señora Hermila Galindo de Topete, who had just returned from a special mission to Cuba, at once dispatched a plea to the Constitutional Congress to grant political rights to women. She asserted that women had participated actively in the Revolution, inspired by the same revolutionary hopes which animated the members of the Congress.
The nation and the world are dependent upon your labors, gentlemen Deputies, and I have great hopes for this new code