A NEW exhibition charting the role of women in Spain’s conquest of the New World has opened in Madrid.

They Didn’t Go Alone – at the National Naval Museum until September 30 – includes information about the country’s first female admiral, Isabel Barreto, appointed by King Phillip II.

Women are thought to have been on two of Christopher Columbus’ journeys to the New World in 1493 and 1497, while an estimated 14,000 women crossed the Atlantic during the colonisation period.