Democracy without women? Spanish women angry about Greek cabinet

  • 31 January 2015
The first cabinet meeting for the new Greek Syriza-led government. The left-wing party came under fire from Spain for its lack of women in top posts.
Image caption Few women were in evidence at the first cabinet meeting of Greece's new Syriza-led government

The new Greek government's relative lack of women has been noticed - on the other side of Europe.

"In Spain we are very conscious about the issue of equality in politics," sais Amparo Rubiales, a long-time Spanish women's rights activist and a blogger for the Spanish edition of The Huffington Post. "Now, for political reasons the eyes are on Greece," she added.

The new Greek government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, includes six women cabinet members out of a total of 40 - and men are in charge of all the major ministry portfolios.

Hours after Rubiales published an article with the headline "A government without women", the hashtag #SinMujeresnohayDemocracia (No Democracy without Women) started trending in Spain.

Spain's political trajectory resembles Greece's in some respects - although Spanish banks exited an international bailout last year, the country has been hit hard economically and the left-wing Podemos party currently stands second in the polls for this year's Spanish elections.

Like Syriza, Podemos has a gender imbalance issue, with no women among the party's senior leadership.

"We wanted to give a clear message to the Spanish left that we don't want this to happen here," said June Fernández, editor of the feminist magazine Pikara. "We were watching Greece closely and this was a huge disappointment."

Carme Chacon, a member of Spain's opposition party PSOE tweeted: "According to Confucius women make up half of heaven: Apparently for [Syriza Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras they don't even constitute a sad 1%."

Blog by Alvaro A Ricciardelli

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