Spain’s feminist groups mobilizing for battle against far-right Vox party

Main associations will issue a joint manifesto and organize street marches in the coming days

March against gender violence in Madrid on November 25.
March against gender violence in Madrid on November 25.Carlos Rosillo

Spain’s main feminist groups are preparing public protests against the far-right party Vox, which is threatening to withhold support for a new government in Andalusia unless its new leaders pledge to repeal existing gender violence policies.

Feminismo, ni un paso atrás (or, Feminism, not a single step back) is the slogan of a movement that will kick off activities on Wednesday with the reading of a manifesto, the Cadena SER radio network reported. Several feminist associations are also planning a march for February 15.

The Vox leader in Andalusia calls himself “a victim of gender-based Jihadism”

Feminist groups are concerned about the rise of Vox, which secured 12 seats at the Andalusian regional elections on December 2. The far-right group holds the key to a center-right government formed by the Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos, who want to end 36 years of rule by the Socialist Party (PSOE). Although Vox has not been asked to join the alliance, the latter needs Vox’s votes to appoint its candidate to the premiership, Juan Manuel Moreno of the PP.

Vox is now demanding moves against the gender violence law, which it views as biased. Feminist groups are afraid that center-right parties will make concessions to Vox, which is also hoping for success at upcoming local and regional elections in Spain later this year.

The far-right party’s 100-point program includes the repeal of the 2004 Gender Violence Law and “any norm that discriminates between the sexes.” Vox also rejects public funding for abortions through the social security system, objects to gender-parity requirements for political parties, and wants to eliminate “subsidized radical feminist associations.”

The Vox leader in Andalusia, Francisco Serrano.
The Vox leader in Andalusia, Francisco Serrano.Reuters

Francisco Serrano, Vox’s leader in Andalusia, is a judge who was barred for two years in 2011 over a case in which he altered child visitation arrangements in favor of the father without calling the mother to the hearing.

Serrano has been a vocal opponent of what he terms “radical feminism,” and says that he himself is “a victim of gender-based Jihadism.” At other times he has described himself as “a defender of the Spanish nation, of family values, of equal rights, and pro-life.”

“Women must be protected from all forms of violence, but from a position of presumed innocence, not from a deterministic view that women are always the victims, because what you are applying in that case is a psychological approach, not a legal one,” he told EL PAÍS in early December.

In 2018, 47 women were killed by their partners or former partners. The figure since 2003 is 975.

English version by Susana Urra.

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