Spain’s Congress ratified emergency legislation on Wednesday over the protests of the conservative Partido Popular and ultra-right VOX parties that provides special support to women who are victims of violence at the hands of their domestic partners during the coronavirus lockdown.
The legislation, approved by the government’s cabinet-level Consejo de Ministros in early April but awaiting congressional approval until yesterday, was approved by a majority vote of the 209 deputies belonging to all other parties represented in Congress.
Despite its support for legislative initiatives on gender violence in the past, the conservative opposition Partido Popular registered its opposition to the emergency aid measures contained in the legislation by casting its 88 votes as abstentions. The far-right VOX party cast 53 “No” votes against the legislation, with the ultra-conservative party’s leadership condemning the emergency measures as “propaganda” of “Marxist feminism”.
► Backgrounder on gender violence in Spain during lockdown at The Guardian …
Equality Minister Irene Montero of Unidas Podemos made her first first appearance in Congress since quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus last month, defending the legislation as necessary because in emergency situations such as the current women and other vulnerable groups find themselves in special circumstances that society needs to address.
Montero also used her appearance in Congress to urge women victims of violence at the hands of men to seek help if they experience any episode of gender violence or domestic abuse during the lockdown.
The legislation ratified by the majority in Congress on Wednesday declares the gender violence assistance programs operated by regional and local governments as essential services during the lockdown. It also provides emergency fundng to reinforce existing systems of telephone assistance to gender violence victims and enables additional channels of communication for victims through WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
► Click to read more news about Gender Violence in Spain …
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