Rita Moreno & the Mirabal Sisters Are Amongst the Latinas Honored in Time’s 100 Women of the Year Project

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Women’s contributions to society are often overlooked, whilst men’s often comparably mediocre successes are consistently enshrined on plaques, newspapers and history books. That was especially the case in the 1900s. 

Media publications have attempted to right some of those wrongs over the last few years, opting to move forward by first looking back. The New York Times, for example, started Overlooked—a series of obituaries written for overlooked people in NYT history (e.g., Belkis Ayón). 

In honor of Women’s History Month, Time dug into their archive and admitted to an evident gap in representation. What we now know as Person of the Year was actually Man of the Year until 1999. Thus, only a few women have been honored on the coveted cover so far—until now. 100 Women of the Year highlights an influential woman for each year from 1920 on. 89 of them are new additions.

Below are excerpts of the legendary Latinas who are being honored as a result.

Eva Perón, 1946

Eva Peron Postage Stamp. Getty Images

“Evita, as Argentines call their most famous First Lady, was in showbiz long before the Broadway musical about her life. In the 1930s, 15-year-old Eva Duarte moved from her impoverished family’s home to Buenos Aires to become an actor. But parts in radio plays gave way to a more pivotal role: shaping Argentina’s political future.” —Ciara Nugent

The Mirabal Sisters, 1960

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#OTD in 1960, the #MirabalSisters Patria, Minerva & Maria Teresa were assassinated by the regime of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. • • • Op-Led: Spread Love It’s The Mirabal Sisters Way By @led_black . "It is a source of happiness to do whatever can be done for our country that suffers so many anguishes. It is sad to stay with one's arms crossed." Minerva Mirabal Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina could not have known that he sealed his own fate when he ordered the brutal murder of the Mirabal sisters. Trujillo had harassed, intimidated and even imprisoned members of the Mirabal family for years after Minerva Mirabal has rebuffed the dictator’s sexual advances at a party. On the night of November 25, 1960, Trujillo’s henchmen savagely beat 3 of the 4 sisters to death and then staged an accident to cover their tracks. Trujillo would be dead within 6 months. The Mirabal Sisters could have easily put their safety over the fate of their countrymen. They chose the opposite. Even when their father prematurely died from the inherent stress of confronting a dictator they did not falter. When their husbands were imprisoned and tortured they did not give up their righteous struggle against a tyrant. It was the glorious example they set and their martyrdom that directly led to the downfall of one of the worst despots the world has ever seen. A darling of the United States, Trujillo led a barbarous authoritarian regime that ruled through sheer terror and systematically massacred thousands of innocent people. He ruled Quisqueya with an iron fist for over 3 decades but could not suppress the national revulsion engendered by the sadistic murder of las hermanas Mirabal. The Mirabal Sisters have unequivocally proven that you can kill the resisters but you cannot kill the resistance. It is that valiant spirit that illuminates the path forward today. Tyrants are not to be tolerated and must be vanquished at all costs. Que Viva Las Hermanas Mirabal! Pa’Lante Siempre Pa’Lante

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“Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal—three sisters from a middle class family, all married with children—may not have seemed the most likely revolutionaries. But living under the Dominican Republic’s brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo in the late 1950s, the Mirabal sisters risked their lives to work in the resistance…. After the transition to democracy in the late 1970’s, the Butterflies, as Dominicans call the sisters, became symbols of both democratic and feminist resistance…” —Ciara Nugent


Rita Moreno, 1961

Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer Rita Moreno laughing as she sunbathes in a bikini, US, 5th October 1951. Photo by Graphic House/Getty Images

“In her nearly 70-year career, Moreno has never stopped fighting against typecasting and for fair representation of Latinos… In 1962, she became the first Latina to win an Oscar, going on to take home an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony—a feat only 15 entertainers have ever accomplished. She’s one of 24 to win what’s called the Triple Crown of Acting, snagging competitive Academy, Emmy and Tony Awards. In 2020, she’ll serve as an executive producer on a remake of the film that launched her to fame nearly 60 years ago.” —Soledad O’Brien

Dolores Huerta, 1965

Civil rights and women’s advocate Dolores Huerta is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

“Huerta launched the slogan “Sí, se puede” (“Yes, we can”) amid farmworker protests in Arizona in 1972 as a demonstration of her belief in the individual and collective power of workers. For female workers in particular, her role was transformative. At a time when less than 40% of women were in the workforce, Huerta insisted that they have an equal voice at work and in unions, elevated low-wage workers in the women’s movement and mentored young female activists across the country. To Huerta, women are never powerless victims, only leaders and authors of their own stories…” —Ai-jen Poo