Opinion | Law against gender-based violence: 15 years of a standard pioneering and exemplary

Spain took a bold decision 15 years ago with the Law 1/2004, of 28 December, of Measures of Integral Protection against Gender Violence, which has proved to be

Opinion | Law against gender-based violence: 15 years of a standard pioneering and exemplary

Spain took a bold decision 15 years ago with the Law 1/2004, of 28 December, of Measures of Integral Protection against Gender Violence, which has proved to be an example for many other States of the world. Our society supported not only the inequality between men and women, but also the worst face of this, the violence against women in different degrees and levels until you reach the most terrible murders. Years before, the case of Ana Orantes, burned alive by her husband after she reported on television violence that he suffered during more than 40 years, had shocked the Spanish society, opening a door whose threshold has not returned to cross in the opposite direction.

The gender-based violence does not belong to the private sphere. Never before had seen with so much forcefulness that "the personal is political", as was said by Simone de Beauvoir. From feminism we have always advocated that there are spaces where democracy has to come to guarantee the physical integrity, moral and the possibility of developing to the full the rights and freedoms of women.

it Has been the feminism, with its roots illustrated, who has been raising the concepts and achievements that today we can nurture any discourse of this nature. Has been the Spanish company which has been sustained with determination and advance the construction of our democracy in a desire to constant improvement. Have been the women of this country, accompanied by the vast majority of men who are at the margin of being violent, apart from being potential criminals, outside of not being able to understand whether other types of relationships that are not based on respect, freedom and equality.

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The relentless struggle of the feminist movement, the momentum of the Socialist Party and the consensus was the framework from which to address this structural violence, and specific resulted in a law pioneer who promoted a lot of agreement on the concept of gender-based violence and that have helped to change societal and political to deal with it.

A law specimen whose strength, underpinned by the unanimity with which it was adopted in the Congress of Deputies, the 22 of December of 2004, it was a gesture of maturity of democracy and political courage, not only of the party that advanced it, but each and every one of you that voted that day. We were able to incorporate other different ideological positions of the Government that made it be born, and that is a fundamental asset to our own democracy.

That consensus was reflected in 2017 in the State Pact against Gender-based Violence. We have continued to maintain the unity of action and unanimity of understanding. In addition, we have integrated the obligations undertaken in the Convention of Istanbul, addressing violence against women outside the context of the partner or former spouse. This covenant meant something deeper still: the decision not to make partisan in a struggle that has to be of all, firm and common.

We are aware of the margin improvement and that we must continue to work against the violence that has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 women from that there are official data in 2003 and 34 minors since 2013.

Without equality there is no democracy. And in front of those who want to undermine the consensus that has been charting for 15 years in this country, and that has meant the example not only of the law, of the institutions and public Administrations, of our courts, but also of a society like ours, we affirm strongly that you will not be able to break the large majorities that we have been able to build. The fight for equality from the perspective of constitutional and democratic should be a priority and a matter of State. That is why it is so important to make this reminder, to turn to look as a society to know where we come from, because it is the only way to know not only where we are going but above all where we want to go.

Carmen Calvo is vice-president of the Government and minister of Equality in roles.

Updated Date: 28 December 2019, 17:00

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