• ‘Pacto contra la Violencia de Género’ passes first key congressional hurdle
• Accord to spend €1bn, implement 200 measures to curb ‘machista’ violence
In an historic first step toward addressing the problem of domestic violence by men against current or former women partners and their children in Spain, political parties represented in the ational Congress of Deputies agreed on Monday to sign on to a legislative accord against gender violence that once approved by the full Congress would see the government spending 1 billion euros over the next five years to implement more than 200 measures aimed at curbing the gender violence problem that has captured national attention in Spain.
Passing a key congressional sub-committee hurdle yesterday, the Pacto contra la Violencia de Género will now proceed to the Congress’s Committee on Equality, where the the Socialist party (PSOE) and leftwing rival Unidos Podemos (United We Can) are expected to offer amendments that could be incorporated into the final legislation. After signing onto the pacto at the sub-committee level yesterday, representatives of the PSOE, Unidos Podemos and Valencia’s Coalició Compromís (Commitment Coalition) all said the legislation agreed to with the conservative governing Partido Popular (PP) and other parties only meets the bare-minimum requirements to effectively combat the gender violence problem in Spain.
While the 200 measures contained in the legislation address most of the policy points contained in the Council on Europe’s Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women, to which Spain has been a signatory since 2014, critics say that the pacto agreed to Monday does not go far enough it in its assignment of priorities to specific policy points nor does it provide the same level of access to counseling and treatment services for women who are victims of gender violence as recommended under by the Istanbul Convention.
After amendment and approval by the Equality Committee of Congress on Friday, the final draft legislation is expected to be voted upon and approved by the full Congress in September.