Historic advances for women

“It is not with aggressions and it is not with irony that you are going to overcome my strength” (CLARA CAMPOAMOR, October 1, 1931. Plenary Session of the Constituent Cortes)

“Historically, the extreme right has never been favorable to women” (ANNIE ERNAUX, Nobel Prize for Literature 2022)

The fuss that the Spanish right-wing (PP, Vox, Cs) and their information and opinion media -which are the majority- have been making lately, is not the one to prevent a series of legal regulations from being approved that are going to place Spain among the most advanced states in Europe in terms of gender equality: Law of Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom; Law on Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy; Draft of the Family Law; Strategic Plan for the Effective Equality of Women and Men (PEIEMH); Equal Pay Regulations… We are facing something truly historic that should be highlighted as it deserves. Much more if we remember the distant and near past or if we turn to the empirical evidence that shows us the enormous resistance that was raised from multiple political, legal, media and religious instances, many with enormous aggressiveness and violence, in the face of any advance, shy as he was, on women’s rights.

Surely one of the most noteworthy aspects is that such rules imply the obligation and commitment of public authorities to guarantee the rights collected. Duties that involve both surveillance in compliance with the law and the creation of public services and infrastructure with its own personnel that help guarantee such rights as, for example, the interruption of pregnancy in a public hospital, which implies locating the network public for reference. Something very relevant taking into account the enormous territorial differences existing in Spain. No less relevant is situating women as individual subjects of rights -for example, the right to dispose of their own body- and at the same level as mens against the positions of the Spanish right -supported by the Catholic Church- that places them as subjects of duties towards others -wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law…- by identifying “families” with “women”.

The European Institute for Gender Equality, which places Spain in sixth place in Europe, focuses on the obstacles that still exist to advance in equality. Thus, the numerous cases of gender violence -since 2010 a total of 1,350 women were murdered in Spain by their husbands/partners without Galicia escaping the scourge: 64- show what that machismo is deeply rooted. The reality of working market -the female employment rate (54%) is clearly below the male (64%), wages are lower (a 25% wage gap in favor of men)- shows that participation in the world of work for women and less and precarious than that of men. The uneven impact of COVID-19 also showed that, despite the manifestos in favor of families, help services -childhood, dependency, elderly…- are clearly deficient to the detriment of women -mainly if they are from the popular classes- who must cover these deficiencies.

That is why the aforementioned regulations, recognizing these deficits, come to reflect the commitment of the current Spanish government on duty (PSOE/UP) to reduce them through ad hoc public policies. Public policies whose implementation will favor Historic advances for Spanish women and, therefore, for Galician women In this way, they will see their power of influence in society increase, something that until now was very weak.

There is still a long way to go for effective gender equality in Spain, and in Galicia, but as the poet said “walking makes the path…”.

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Historic advances for women