PP stalls gender-violence funding increase in Senate

March in Madrid Nov. 25th demanding government action against gender violence. Photo: Paco Puentes / El País
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• PP absolute majority blocks opposition move to restore funding to 2010 levels
• Party says only that it will assign ‘sufficient’ funds to combat gender-violence

Even as Spain’s lower house of parliament agreed Wednesday to move forward with the much-anticipated Pacto Nacional (‘National Pact’) pledged by the country’s political parties to combat gender violence and domestic abuse, the absolute majority of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) in the Senate has vetoed a proposal to significantly increase funding to combat gender-violence put forward by left-wing anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can).

On Wednesday, the Commission for Equality (Comisión de Igualdad ) in Congress agreed unanimously to create a special subcommittee to that over the course of the next four months will develop a report that will identify and analyze the issues that stand in the way of eradicating violence against women, both in terms of domestic abuse and violence targeted specifically at women because of their gender. The subcommittee was one of the measures agreed by Spain’s political parties in mid-November, when the governing PP announced an agreement had been reached to move forward with the gender-violence pact.

But, just a day earlier on Tuesday in the Senate, the PP’s absolute majority in the upper house of parliament demonstrated its ability to block any proposal that does not fall within the government’s budget parameters, rejecting the Podemos proposal with support from all opposition parties to fund initiatives designed to combat gender violence at the same level as in 2010, during the last Socialist government.

The Podemos proposal called for reinstatement of the 2010 levels of funding to 31.07 million euros to combat gender violence and 33.5 million euros to promote equality among men and women in society. Since taking office in 2011, the PP has cut the funding levels in those areas to 25.2 million euros and 19.7 million euros, respectively. In rejecting the opposition proposal in the Senate, the PP majority said only that it would “assign the sufficient” amount of money that it deems necessary in the 2017 budget to promote gender equality and combat gender violence.

► Read More in Spanish at El País and Europa Press…

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