Natividad Almeda-López

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Natividad Almeda-López
Born Natividad Almeda
8 September 1892[1]
Died 22 January 1977[1]
Cause of death Natural[1]
Nationality Filipino[1]
Occupation Judge[1]
Known for First female lawyer in the Philippines[1]
Spouse(s) Domingo López[1]
Children 3[1]

Natividad Almeda-López (8 September 1892 – 22 January 1977) was the first female lawyer in the Philippines,[2] passing the bar in 1913. She was also the first woman to defend a woman in a court of law.[3]

She has been described as a "beacon in the feminist movement"[4]

Personal life[edit]

She married Domingo López a lawyer when she was 30[3] and they had three children, Marita, Lulu and Jake.[5] During WW2 she and her three children were evacuated from Manila to her husbands home city of Tayabas[5]


Almeda-López passed the bar in 1913 but due to her being too young she had to wait one year before joining the Roll of Attorneys.[3] Aged 26 she delivered a speech at the Philippine Legislative Assembly arguing for women's rights.[3] In 1919 she had been hired by the Bureau of Justice and was promoted to assistant attorney at the Attorney General’s Office.[3] In 1934 president Manuel Quezon gave her a permanent appointment as city judge of the City of Court of Manila, a post she had served in as a temporary capacity for three years.[4]


Since her death the government of the Philippines has honoured her legacy in various ways. In 1996 naming a street after her,[6] She was given three presidential awards, the Presidential Medal of Merit for her leadership in the feminist movement in 1955, in 1966 she was given recognition for her work in women's rights and in 1968 she again received the Presidential Medal of Merit[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Standard, Manila (6 September 1992). "Centennial Celebration for first woman justice". Manila Standard. 
  2. ^ Olsen, Kristin (1994). Chronology of women's history. Greenwood. p. 195. ISBN 978-0313288036. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Jimenez-David, Rina (8 September 2012). "The CJ and the trailblazer". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  4. ^ a b c Reformina, Ina (28 October 2012). "Country's first female judge remembered". ABS-CBN. 
  5. ^ a b Kintanar, Thelma B.; Aquino, Clemen C.; Arinto, Patricia B.; Camagay, Ma. Luisa T. (2011). Kuwentong Bayan: Noong Panahon Ng Hapon : Everyday Life in a Time of War. University Of Hawai'i Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-971-542-498-1. 
  6. ^ Council, City (18 July 1996). "Republic of the Philippines". Manila Standard.