Women will once again take to the streets of Spain today on March 8th – International Women’s Day – to continue their fight for equality. Many of the country’s cities will see roads cordoned off today in preparation for the marches.
The first biggest strike for equality took place two years ago in 2018, with 5.9 million people showing up in the streets, protesting against gender inequality in Spain. The impressive turnout was reported to be one of the world’s biggest demonstrations ever on International Women’s Day, revealing Spanish women’s hunger for change and growing intolerance towards gender inequality, sexual discrimination, the machista culture and domestic violence.
While gender equality has been improving steadily in the last few years, progress is too slow, say the experts. Although, more women are advancing through corporate ranks and in politics, more change is needed to help them get ahead and achieve more equal pay.
The latest statistics demonstrate that little has changed since the big demonstrations two years ago. Today, Spain ranks 9th in the EU for equality, behind countries like Sweden, UK, France and Italy. Women continue to face discrimination in the workplace when it comes to promotions, they are still paid less than men, and continue to do the majority of the housework. According to the latest UGT statistics, Spanish women earn around 22.35% less than their male counterparts, and their pensions are worth 37.79% less than men. Violence against women also remains a huge problem in Spain, with more than 71% of the country believing that the laws around gender violence to be inadequate.
For these reasons, and many more, Spain expects a huge turn out this year on International Women’s Day, across its cities to fight for equality. Demonstrations are expected to start around midday today in the cities of Malaga, Madrid, Seville, Bilboa, Alicante, Cordoba and Gran Canaries. Events in cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza are Valladolid are scheduled to start much later in the afternoon, at around 5 or 6pm.