Spain again tops Europe in pct. of women legislators

Re-elected in 2016: Soraya Sáenz (PP), Meritxell Batet (PSOE), Irene Montero (UP) y Marta Rivera (C's). Photo: El Mundo
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• 39.42 pct of Congress seats held by women, surpassing 37 pct in Strasbourg
• Women Deputies’ presence far above 25 pct avg for nat’l legislatures in Europe

Spain’s incoming batch of 138 women Deputies will occupy nearly four of every ten (39.42%) seats in Spain’s new XII Congress to women, reflecting a greater percentage of women legislators in the country’s lower house of parliament than the 25 percent average for other national legislatures across Europe and greater even than the 37 percent enjoyed by women in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Of Spain’s four major parties, none of which can boast having achieved or surpassed the much-sought 50-50 “parity” among male and female Deputies for their party, only Unidos Podemos and its affiliates surpassed the 39.42 percent Congress-wide percentage, with 49.29 percent of its 71 total seats occupied by women. The 37.95 percent of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) is just short of the Congressional average, with the Socialist party (PSOE) loss of five seats in the last election causing its percentage to drop from 44 percent in 2015 to 31.7 percent in 2016. The centre-right Ciudadanos party fell further short at just 21.87 percent.

The first two Deputies to address their colleagues from the speakers’ podium in the new legislature by virtue of being the youngest (age 26), were also women: María Such of the PSPV-PSOE in Valencia and Nagua Alba of Podemos in the Basque Country. María Such also counts herself among three lesbian women elected to the XII Congress, along with the Socialist deputy for Madrid, Ángeles Álvarez, whose same-sex marriage to her partner in 2005 was the first-ever between two women in Spain; and, Leticia García, elected to Congress on the Unidos Podemos ticket from the province of Granada in Andalusia.

► Read More in Spanish at La Vanguardia, and Hay una lesbiana en mi sopa …

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