An iconic leader of the Argentine Communist Party, Fanny Edelman, died this Tuesday at the age of 100. She held honorary presidency of the Communist Party and is renowned for her work in fighting for women’s rights and human rights. In March this year, Edelman was awarded with the Orden José Marti, the highest honour given by the State Council of Cuba.
Edelman was born in Córdoba on 27 February 1911 in a family of Russian immigrants. She started her political career soon after the 6 September 1930 coup that overthrew HipólitoYrigoyen. After joining the communist party in 1934 at the age of 23, she focused on helping political prisoners and working with the international Red Cross.
Two years later, Edelman married social activist Bernardo Edelman. In 1937 she was relocated with her husband to Spain to participate in the Republican defense during the Spanish Civil War. By the time she returned to Argentina in 1938, she was a recognised public figure. In later years she became internationally known for supporting the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, the Chilean socialist government of Salvador Allende and the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.
In 1972 she represented the Women’s Union of Argentina, assumed the leadership of the International Women’s Democratic Federation, and organised activities in Latin America, Asia and Africa to protect women’s rights. She also promoted the international women’s year and a UN meeting in Nairobi.
Edelman led the Human Rights Commission in the UN meeting in Geneva in 1978 and brought testimonies of hundreds of victims and their families of state terrorism in Argentina.