In 1907, Cebu Congressman Filemon Sotto filed a women’s suffrage bill in the American-sponsored Philippine Assembly, upon the encouragement of Pura Villanueva Kalaw, the founder of the Asociacion Feminista Ilonga.

During that time, only Filipino men of some education and property had the right to vote.

Article V of the 1935 Constitution during the Commonwealth period set a condition that suffrage may also be extended to Filipino women if 300,000 of them will vote in favor of a motion in a special plebiscite to be held within two years after the adoption of the Constitution.

On April 30, 1937, in a special plebiscite, Filipino women won the right to vote after 447,725 (90%) of them voted in favor of the measure.

The general elections held on Dec. 14, 1937 became the first balloting in the country in which Filipino women were allowed to vote and run for public office.

Photo sourced from:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *