Thousands protested in Madrid Thursday night over a minister’s declarations on abortion and to demand gender equality.
A ‘purple tide’ or marea violeta of thousands flooded central Madrid calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardon.
The demonstration marched under the slogan ‘no step back in our rights. Now more than ever, a feminist revolution.’
Most of the demonstrators wore purple, such as handkerchiefs, scarves and berets and carried banners against violence, against cuts in equality policies and in favour of abortion rights.
Spain’s justice minister said in January that he would reform the country’s abortion law to make parental permission obligatory for 16- and 17-year-olds looking to end pregnancies. The former Socialist government updated a 1985 law in 2010 to allow abortions without restrictions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and for 16- and 17-year-olds to have the operation without their parents’ permission.
Gallardón said Wednesday in Spain’s parliament that ‘in many cases there was a structural gender violence against women on the sole grounds of pregnancy.’
‘Gallardon resign’ and ‘Against Gallardón, radical feminism’ were some of the slogans repeated by the mostly women marchers who also held banners saying ‘free bellies make free men.”‘
In addition to defending the current abortion law, the protesters called on women ‘not to tolerate abuse.’
The Socialists’ Equality Secretary, Purificación Causapié, who was among the participants, said that although many women have asked in the march for the resignation of Justice Minister her party was asking not for a change the law of abortion. If the law is reformed women will no longer have the right to decide on motherhood, she argued.