Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Zapatero and Women's Rights in Spain

Today, July 14, the annual State of the Nation (Estado de la Nación, in Spanish) debate is being held in the Spanish Parliament and Socialist Prime Minister Zapatero is being criticized by both right and left.

So, in order to cheer him up a bit, we would like to inform that the Swedish NGO RFSU - when recently presenting the Spanish Equality Minister Bibiana Aído to the readers of its magazine Ottar - added the following information:

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FACTS - Women's rights in Spain:

1975: The Franco dictatorship falls and women gain the right to open their own bank accounts, travel abroad and sign employment contracts without their husband's permission.
1981: Divorce is allowed under certain circumstances.
2005: Divorce is completely free.
2005: Law on marriage for same-sex couples.
2005: A new and comprehensive law on violence against women comes into force. Specialized prosecutors and courts are introduced.
2007: The Gender Equality Act comes into force, outlining that a gender equality plan must be established in companies with over 250 employees and introducing a target of 40% for women’s share of the positions on boards with politically nominated members.
2008: The Socialists PSOE win a second term of office and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero presents a new government, half of which is made up by women. A Ministry of Gender Equality is established and Bibiana Aído becomes its first minister.
2009: The Spanish parliament passes a new law allowing women above of 16 years of age (sic!) free abortions up to week 14.
2010: During the spring Spain holds the rotating presidency of the EU and has gender equality as a profile issue.

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The summary can certainly be interpreted in the way that major reforms were made immediately after the death of dictator Franco, but that afterwards there was a long gap until Zapatero came to power in 2004.

Was it really so? How do you consider that women's rights have developed in Spain over the years?

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Here is an attempt to write the same text in Spanish.

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