TODAY millions of women in Spain will mark International Women’s Day.
There will be celebrations, but there will also be protests at the sexism still prevalent in Spanish society.
A Twitter hashtag, #NosotrasParamos (we’re stopping), has been created to organise and promote the protests.
The Feminist Movement of Madrid has called on Spanish women to stop working between 12pm and 12.30pm on March 8, and to take to the streets in protests at 7pm.
So why are women protesting?
During Francisco Franco’s reign, the famous permiso marital or ‘marital permission’ meant that a woman could not get a job, own property, open a bank account or apply for a passport without her husband’s permission.
This law was abolished in 1975, and divorce was legalised in 1981. In 1987 Spain’s supreme court ruled that a rape victim did not need to prove that she had ‘put up a fight’ in order to support her accusation.
In 2017, women’s rights are in a much better state in Spain, as the permiso marital has long been outlawed. However, there is still a very long way to go on the march towards equality.
The rates of domestic violence in Spain are shockingly high. The first two months of 2017 have been some of the worst in Spanish history.
By February 22, 16 women had been killed by a current or former partner. This is a staggering number on any scale, but especially considering that that’s more than a third of the total number of similar deaths recorded in the whole of 2016 (44).
Over the past 13 years, 886 women have been killed in Spain by their partner or ex-partner. In February the government created two new bodies dedicated to the fight against gender-based violence.
Women in Spain currently earn 23% less than men – a difference of €5,892 on the average salary. The situation is slightly worse in Andalucia, as the average difference is €6.039, or 26%. In the UK, the average gender pay gap is 18%.
In August 2016, women held 37.5% of executive positions in Spain’s main political parties. Women account for 45% of deputies in regional governments, 35% of town hall councillors, and 19% of mayors, according to figures from the Institute of Women. No woman has ever been elected Prime Minister of Spain.
On this International Women’s Day, up to 40 million women are expected to protest around the world and in Spain, in order to fight for human rights, respect and equality.