Lidia Falcón O'Neill

 Lidia Falcón O’Neill was born in Madrid on December 13, 1935, during a time of intense political turmoil. The Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939) led to the death or exile of all the male members of her family. She and her female relatives were left to survive if they could in a fascist system which promoted discrimination against them not only because they and their male relatives had been devoted anti-fascists before and during the war, but also because they were women.

Falcón obtained her first degrees in Barcelona, in drama, law, and journalism. She began publishing short stories at age 18, and her first full-length book, Sustituciones y fideicomisos, appeared in 1962, to be closely followed by more works of social theory and criticism, journalism, fiction, drama, and, most recently, poetry. She has been published in every major Spanish newspaper and journal. All of her work has as a major theme the status of women in Spanish society and the world. In 1972, she was arrested for “crimes of opinion” and spent six months in prison. She served a second prison term, of nine months, after being falsely implicated in a bombing on Correo Street in Madrid in 1974.


She is the founder and president of the Feminist Party, which was recognized as a political party in 1981. From that base, she worked to legalize divorce and abortion in Spain. She also founded the journal Vindicación feminista, and when this folded in 1979, Poder y libertad, which continues publishing on women’s issues today. Both of these journals took great risks as they crusaded to bring women’s issues to public attention. In 1992, she obtained her doctorate in Philosophy with the thesis Mujer y poder político. While maintaining Poder y libertad and the publishing house Vindicación Feminista, and continuing to publish at an impressive rate, she is also active in women’s rights in her work as a lawyer. Her most important theoretical contribution has been La razón feminista (1981 - 82, translated as The Feminist Reason, 2008), which thoroughly analyzes women’s place in society in two volumes.

She is the Spanish representative of the international organization Sisterhood is Global. She has spoken at countless conferences, summits, and on television, chaired organizations and committees, and has been awarded medals of honor and honorary doctorates for her tireless work.

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