The next challenge for Equality: reforming the law against gender violence

  • Montero takes the modification out to public consultation with the intention of shielding the investments provided for in the State pact and modernizing the regulation

Although there are only 26 months left in the legislature, the Ministry of Equality not only plans to reform the abortion law, to increase the number of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy in public hospitals, eliminate certain obstacles and protect reproductive rights, but also has on the agenda also a modification of the comprehensive law against gender violence, another of the bulwarks on equality in the period of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and to which Vox has more fury.

The reason given for opening a new melon now, which would be added to the ‘only if it is yes’ law -which is being processed in Congress- or to the trans law -in consultation phase in the mandatory bodies-, is that it is advisable to shield by law the state pact against gender violence, which was initially agreed for five years, a date that expires in 2022. The desire of the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, is that this pact be made permanent, in a context in which increased the denialism towards sexist violence, according to the polls, due to the boom reached by Vox, which was not in the institutions when the unanimous agreement of the parties with parliamentary representation was reached. The pact implies a budget allocation for prevention measures and attention to the victims that would decline if it is not renewed.

Exit the “narrow frame”

However, as indicated this Thursday by the Government delegate against sexist violence, Vicky Rosell, the reform could also be used to “get out of the narrow framework” that limits the law to gender violence and open it to the rest of violence against women under the Istanbul Convention. “It could be a great opportunity,” said Rosell, also specifying that it is not a matter of making a “revision in its entirety” of the norm, but of carrying out some “tweaks or improvements“to collect the” demands “of the feminist movement and experts.

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The Government delegate has given as an example the high level of protection and reparation that includes the law ‘only if it is yes’ for victims of sexual violence, with measures for social reparation or guarantees of non-repetition, which could be emulated in the norm against gender violence.

To receive suggestions, the Ministry of Equality will bring out public consultation next Monday the reform, as a preliminary phase to start the preparation of a draft on future adjustments.

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