Soldaderas were female soldiers who went into combat alongside men during the Mexican Revolution, which initially broke out in opposition to the conservative, authoritarian Díaz regime. The term is derived from the Spanish word soldada which denotes a payment made to the person who provided for a soldier's well being.The majority of these women led ordinary lives, but took up arms during the war to fight for freedom. Among the soldaderas, Dolores Jiménez y Muro, Margarita Neri, and Hermila Galindo are often considered heroines in contemporary Mexico.
Today, the term La Adelita is used with pride among Mexican women. La Adelita was the title of a Corrido (folk ballad) about a soldadera named "Adelita", and became one of the most beloved songs to come out of the Revolution.
However in most cases, the term soldaderas refers to the wives, children, and relatives of the soldiers in the Mexican army. Soldaderas were allowed to follow the army so that soldiers would be less likely to desert.
- Don M. Coerver, Suzanne B. Pasztor, Robert Buffington, "Mexico: an encyclopedia of contemporary culture and history", ABC-CLIO, 2004, pg. 472,