Remembering Corazon Aquino

The Philippines' first female leader introduced the world to a different type of power

Published August 3, 2009 9:01PM (EDT)

The funeral of former President Corazon Aquino drew a crowd of tens of thousands of people Monday in Manila, Philippines -- and for good reason. Asia's first female leader, who died Saturday from colon cancer, may not have revolutionized the country during her six years in power, but she did forever transform political protest.

Her 1986 "people power" demonstration, which forced the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos to concede, has served as inspiration for peaceful resistance movements the world over. Reuters describes her as "a soft-spoken, unglamorous, motherly figure" who managed to topple a dictator "without any bloodshed." (Memo to the world: Beware the meek motherly type!) Fondly known as Tita (or Auntie) Cory, Aquino introduced the Philippines to the possibility of a different kind of leadership.

On that note, I'll leave you with this quote from Aquino: "Politics must not remain a bastion of male dominance, for there is much that women can bring into politics that would make our world a kinder, gentler place for humanity to thrive in." Hopefully, though, political diversity allows for more expansive notions of power and resistance for both sexes.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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