Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Ilka Labarthe: the radio educator as a supporter of the feminist cause in Brazil
Patricia Coelho Costa

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


This work is focused on the educational proposal conceived by Ilka Labarthe for broadcasting, as a support to dissemination of the emancipation movement of Brazilian women in the 30s. Ilka Labarthe recited poetry, and still worked as radio educator, translator, and writer. In the 20s, she was involved in the Brazilian feminist movement, as she joined the Federação Brasileira pelo Progresso Feminino (FBPF), a national institution leaded by Bertha Lutz and founded in Rio de Janeiro, in 1922. Among its major flags, the feminist movement in Brazil urged the women’s suffrage, the access of women to education, the protection to mothers and children, as well as the regulation of professional tasks performed by women.As a member of said Federation, Ilka Labarthe integrated the organizing committee of conferences for women’s progress, and gave speeches and classes primarily addressed to female workers. In her view, given that women should not be deemed as inferior to men, neither under psychological nor under sociological aspects, a fair regime should not tolerate any restriction of their rights, or discriminations of any kind that might impair their activities.In 1931, as she disagreed with the political position from the leaders of FBPF, she founded, together with Natércia Silveira, the Aliança Nacional de Mulheres, to support the opposition forces against the revolutionary government of Getúlio Vargas, then urging the divorce, the creation of a laic State, the right to freely join labor unions, and the women’s right to Education and Work. She stood for the elections to the National Constituent Assembly in 1934, as a representative of the feminist movement, but was unable to win. Concomitantly, she started her career as radio educator in the Radio Escola Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (PRD5), upon invitation from Edgar Roquette-Pinto, one of pioneers of broadcasting in Brazil. In Ilka Labarthe’s opinion, broadcasting was crucial to disseminate the education in Brazil, a continental-size country with a huge level of illiteracy. Radiophonic waves would be able to reach the most distant and isolated regions nationwide, that lacked schools, civic education and a healthy orientation towards the vitalizing principles of the national organism. The radio educational show “A Hora Feminina”, that is focused herein, was organized by her to reach a female audience.  This radio educator believed that the content of other radio shows for women could hardly contribute to women’s education, as she understood they were mere radio assistance for intimate issues, that irradiated misstatements and futile information. Within the period from 1936 to 1940, “A Hora Feminina”, that was irradiated on a daily basis at 12:00 AM by Radio Cruzeiro do Sul, intended to encourage women’s personality. Three parts composed the show: the first one comprised the irradiation of musical attractions, while the second one brought interviews with well-known writers as Gilka Machado, and the last one was spent with answers to hearers’ letters, that preferably involved women’s health and legislation-related issues. As sources to the analysis of said show’s content, we used the following newspapers, in their versions as available on the digital platform of the National Library: Revista da Semana, A noite and A manhã.