Women of Spain demand equality

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Pictures by Jo Harvie

THOUSANDS of people took to the streets across Spain yesterday, March 8, to call for equality between women and men to mark International Women’s Day.

In Madrid, thousands joined a protest march called by more than 40 women’s groups which filled the streets of the heart of the capital city.

During the march, which travelled along Calle Alcala from the Plaza de Cibeles to the Puerta del Sol, women chanted feminist slogans and brandished posters demanding equal rights and pay and protesting against violence.

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Speeches given at the protest, which many Madrid politicians attended, blamed continued cases of gender violence on lack of budgeting to fight the problem and demanded free legal abortions for all.

The up-coming local, regional and general elections are an opportunity for women to take part and exercise their rights, feminist groups stated.

Citizens in Valencia also marched for true equality between men and women. Equal pay for equal work and the right to abort were the main subjects at the march, organised by Coordinadora Feminista group.

Gabriela Moriana, spokeswoman for the group, said: “Women have come out today because where equality and gender violence are concerned we are going backwards. Not only have we failed to reach the point we should be at, we’re actually getting further from it.”

In Malaga, hundreds gathered at the Plaza de la Constitucion and marched along city streets to demand a free and equal society.

Women used their day of celebration to demand rights which they believe are being taken from them.

“Our government is using the financial crisis as an excuse to place cutbacks on fundamental women’s rights. It doesn’t protect us or encourage equality,” Melly Vazquez, Plataforma 8 de Marzo group spokeswoman declared.

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