Along with our healthcare lectures and site visits, we have been learning about Argentinian history and culture throughout the entire trip. Central to Argentina’s history are the Perons, Juan and Eva, and Peronism, the political movement of which they are the figureheads. Yesterday, we visited the Evita museum, where we learned about Eva Peron’s life and legacy. The Perons are very divisive figures today, but Eva Peron and her brand of Peronism has had a lasting impact on healthcare provision to this day.
Eva Peron is notable for her commitment to women’s rights and the elimination of class struggle. As for advancing women’s rights, she introduced women’s right to vote and their right to obtain work permits during her stay as First Lady, both of which were major advancements in feminism. In addition, she opened up a nursing school for women to be able to train and enter the workforce. This nursing training is obviously important in healthcare, as nursing is an incredibly important profession in the healthcare sector, but the addition of women to the workforce is also significant in terms of the obras sociales, labor unions that provide healthcare to all employees.
Central to Peronism, and Eva’s mission, was the elimination of class struggle and assisting the poor and working class. Peronism is a political movement that is for ‘the people’, or the working class. For example, Eva opened up a shelter for women in need of assistance. Peron worked towards the elimination of class struggle through the creation and implementation of labor unions in the workforce. This is significant in terms of healthcare because these labor unions contribute to obras sociales. Obras sociales are organizations that provide health care coverage to all workers in Argentina, and a majority of the population has this type of health care coverage. The obras sociales are reminiscent of the goals of Peronism because their main function is to improve the lives and working conditions of the working class, which is exactly what Eva Peron championed during her life.