Pan American Feminist Bertha Lutz
Illustration of Bertha Lutz by Sarah Grass

Bertha Lutz (1894–1976)

Born in Sao Paulo in 1894, Bertha Lutz was a leader in both the Pan American feminist and human rights movements. Though she studied the natural sciences and zoology at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Lutz embraced her role as a leader in social change immediately upon graduation. Within a year of returning to Brazil, she formed the League for Intellectual Emancipation for Women and attended the Female International Council of the International Labor Organization as the representative from Brazil. Lutz also fought hard to earn her countrywomen the right to vote, which was finally voted into law in 1931. In 1935, she ran for Congress and became one of the few Brazilian congresswomen of the time.

“For the space of a few days the souls of women have mingled in common ideal, to contribute their share to the progress of the world.” —Bertha Lutz, Conference of Pan American Women, 1922

Sarah Grass is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY.

This feature originally appeared in the Fight issue.