Gender issues have become a central theme in the upcoming Spanish general elections as activists demand it and 60% of undecided voters are women.
After hundreds of thousands of people across Spain took part in the International Women's day strike March 8, political parties are focusing a part of their campaign for April 28 on women's right.
In early March, the center-right party Ciudadanos presented a "liberal feminism" manifesto that detailed the party's vision of an equal society between men and women and the specific measures the party will implement them. The party proposed to regulate prostitution and surrogacy right, among other proposals.
The Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) published a female-friendly manifesto April 15, asserting that, "prostitution, which we aim to abolish, is one of the cruelest aspects of the feminization of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women." The party proposed to introduce equal parental leave for men and women and to revise the sexual offenses law to read: "yes means yes."
However, not all parties are supportive to giving women equal rights.
Far-right People's Party (PP) and Vox, the latter of which gained important legislative seats in Andalucian polls last December, have asked for the repeal of a law regaring violence against women, saying it discriminates against men. They also stand against abortion rights. Pablo Casado, PP leader, declared that "women should know that what they carry inside of them is another life."
"One of the reasons for the rise of the feminist movement in Spain is from the wave of movements that began May 15 (2011)," says Cristina Monge, Ph.D., a political scientist and author of 15M: A Political Movement to Democratize Society.
"The (anti-austerity protests) gathered a society together to be more active and more involved in these movements, and people are making this a priority," adds Monge to Euronews.
The leader of the Secretariat of Intersectional Feminisms and LGTBI People of the Podemos party, Sofia Castañon tells the Spanish newspaper El Diario that the law on sexual violence against women seeks to materialize the "sister, I believe you" in public policy. The Spanish progressive movement and the political party are also offering feminism as a school subject.
Esta es la foto del suelo pegajoso, mujeres seguramente subcontratadas por multiservicio, invisibles en el gran debate de los hombres de Estado. Que hablan de familias y ayudas, esa mujer que seguramente no llega a 900 euros. Estas son nuestras verdades. pic.twitter.com/wtqzc2rwOK— Las kellys Benidorm (@kellysbenidorm) 22 avril 2019
This is the picture of the sticky floor, women surely subcontracted by multiservice, invisible in the great debate of the men of State. They speak of families and help, that woman that does not reach 900 euros. These are our truths.
When the PSOE prime minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez took over in 2018, this was a symbolic action in favor of women as the ruling party is the most equal with 11 females and six male ministers.
However, not all women are convinced. "Having parity is somewhat anecdotal because it does not result in greater participation of women or the greater presence of women in positions of responsibility within each of the political parties," said a women voter to Euronews.
According to a poll by the Center for Sociology Studies, 60 percent of undecided voters are women. That means around 4 million women are unsure who they will be voting for in the upcoming April election.