My Labour in the Field of Social Aid
(Commentary by T.M. Edsall)
This is a speech delivered by Eva Perón in the Hall of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, on the 5th of December 1949. Eva and Juan Perón were at the high point of their rule at the time she made this speech. Until her death in 1951, Eva Perón oversaw an enormous charity affiliated to the government that had replaced the Sociedad de Benificencia.
This speech provides multiple insights into the Perónist movement, gender roles, and the personality of Eva Perón. The “shirtless ones” or descamisados is the phrase used by Peronists to describe the Argentine working class. Click on the descamisados link to see how they were portrayed in a children’s book at the time. These men and women are the descendants of those who had lived in the conventillos of the big cities and small towns of the interior.
For reason of length I have divided it into two parts. The first ,alone, provides insight into the movement’s goals, methods, and organization while the second adds further insights and information about the Eva Perón Foundation, also called the Social Aid Fund.
Part One- Introduction; Purposes of the Fund; Child Welfare; The Aged; Well Earned Justice Instead of Almsgiving.
Part Two- There Will be a Great Many Educational Homes; Protection of Adults; The Well Being of the People.
What does the reading say about Eva’s view of the upper class and former political leadership of the nation? Do you think this was a widespread view and why?
What does the speech suggest is Eva’s role in the Perónist movement?
What distinguishes the Social Aid Fund from previous charities in Argentina? How does Evita present pre-Peronist Charity?
How is Juan Perón leadership position viewed by Eva and the Perónist movement?