From feminist champion to persona non grata: what occurred to Spain’s equality minister?

From feminist champion to persona non grata: what occurred to Spain’s equality minister?

Montero, who was hailed as a defender of feminism in Spain on the quilt of Time journal, now faces a totally unsure political future. However why?


Her jaw clenched as she spoke, Spain’s former equality minister Irene Monteiro final week wished her successor braveness – not luck.

“Right now, Pedro Sánchez is kicking me out of this authorities,” Monteiro stated, referring to the newly elected Spanish prime minister’s cupboard appointments.

Sánchez, recognized for his unpredictable cupboard reshuffles, determined to not belief her to proceed main the Equality Ministry and appointed a shock new minister for feminism, the unknown Ana Redondo.

“I hope they by no means go away you alone and that you’ve the braveness to make the president’s 40- and 50-year-old male buddies uncomfortable,” Monteiro stated angrily, minutes earlier than handing the gender equality portfolio to Redondo.

His voice, which was in peril of breaking, managed to stay intact through the speech.

Monteiro, hailed as a defender of feminism in Spain on the quilt of Time journal final February, now faces a totally unsure political future.

The publication stated, “Since she turned minister in 2020, a rustic the place 50 years in the past girls didn’t want their father’s or husband’s permission to work has secured its place among the many most feminist international locations in Europe.” Have strengthened.”

However why did the previous minister go from entrance web page information to being faraway from the put up?

Fall from grace?

The daughter of an expatriate and a instructor, Monteiro – whose solely job earlier than coming into politics was as a grocery store cashier – rose to the highest of Spanish politics with Podemos.

It was in 2015 that the insurgent leftist get together turned a shining star, ending the two-party system in place in Spain since 1982.

4 years later, Spain’s ruling socialists struck a coalition take care of Podemos and Monteiro took over the equality ministry.

“There may be a number of polarization round her, particularly from individuals exterior her get together. She is a minister who creates resentment and rivalry. She just isn’t the everyday candidate who creates variability. However it’s as much as her to determine. The measure just isn’t whether or not he’s a minister or an excellent minister or not,” political scientist Luis Orioles informed Euronews.

He added, “There are ministers who need changeability and consensus and different ministers who need to push an agenda that they know will generate a number of opposition as a result of it goes towards some very entrenched components within the political tradition of the nation.” “

The minister herself informed Time journal that she had a alternative: “Will we dare to be a part of the democratic impulse coming from the feminist motion and civil society, or will we preserve a extra timid or conservative perspective?”

Though equality has at all times been a controversial ministry, Monteiro’s tenure has been notably turbulent.

Many criticized him for “hijacking feminism”, to the extent that the feminist motion turned subservient to the ministry.

“She adopted a sample that seems like enlightened despotism. The ministry stated: ‘That is what actually protects girls. That is what we should always actually do with transgender individuals. That is what’s genuine, That is what’s progressive and that is what we’re going to impose,” Fernando Valespín, professor of political science on the Autonomous College of Madrid, informed Euronews.

“It was not crucial for Irene Monteiro to be there to consolidate feminist progress below a progressive authorities. I discover it very uncertain that she was so elementary to girls’s rights.”


“However what they’ve actually labored for is the inclusion of all LGTBI individuals, particularly transsexuals, as a part of feminist rights. A qualitative leap that isn’t with out danger.”

What is obvious is that the affect of his coverage has not gone unnoticed by the worldwide press.

The notorious ‘solely sure is sure’ regulation

Many consider that Monteiro’s resignation is a political value he needed to pay after the approval of the brand new rape regulation, often known as “Sure Solely”.

A regulation whose penalties in the end turned insufferable for the federal government.

The controversial regulation, which got here into impact a yr in the past, was supposed to be stricter than the earlier code, however resulted within the sentences of greater than 1,000 intercourse offenders convicted below the earlier regulation.


This reform was a direct response to the notorious ‘La Mañada’ case, during which a younger girl was gang-raped by 5 males through the San Fermín celebrations in Pamplona in 2016.

The reform modified the penal code by making sexual consent the principle consider figuring out assault circumstances, in an effort to outline all non-consensual sexual relations as rape.

The regulation eradicated the lesser cost of sexual abuse and categorised all crimes as sexual assault. Nevertheless, it additionally lowered the minimal and most jail sentences, leading to criminals having their sentences lowered on attraction.

Monteiro ignored warnings from judicial establishments about these penalties earlier than the reforms had been handed and proceeded along with her plan.

“This regulation was speculated to be one thing that will give political credit score to Podemos, it was speculated to be its star regulation. As an alternative, it was very problematic, it weakened the federal government. What got here up on the general public agenda was that many rapists had been launched from jail,” Orioles explains.


She added, “As an alternative of changing into a regulation that made Irene Monteiro one of many symbols of the feminist wrestle, it turned a significant disaster.”

In line with consultants, maybe his largest mistake was not understanding that it was crucial to stop the discharge of rapists by enhancing the newly applied regulation.

The ruling Socialist Celebration needed to introduce a brand new modification, which was handed with the help of the conservatives and towards the needs of Podemos.

From that second on, the minister turned the item of everybody’s contempt, and the worst rated minister within the authorities.

Nevertheless, not everybody feels the identical method.


“For the woke tradition, it’s doable that she is even seen as a goddess, as a result of she fought onerous in every thing else, however for others it’s not so in any respect. She turned the loudest minister Are.” ” says Valespin.

Time journal itself requested: Is that this disaster an indication of the unbridgeable divide between the progressive, feminist Spain that Monteiro imagines and a conservative, patriarchal actuality that also persists? Or is it a lesson concerning the risks of implementing ideology into society at massive?


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Written by bourbiza mohamed

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