Thechanging role of Women in Spainsince 1945 Universidad Senior Ferrol ( A Coruña )
Never before throughout History has there been, nor will there possibly be, such an extraordinary time of change for women, as the twentieth century.
Only a century ago, there were about five million families, of which 85% were workers and peasants. The women of the bourgeoisie had a different position. The economy and education were much better but they were kept within the four walls of the home to look after her husband, to monitor the education of children and perpetuate the reproduction of the species.
Emilia Pardo Bazán Throughout this time, though rare, great female personalities arise. All in their respective fields defending their rights and raised their voices against the role society forced, upon them. Clara Campoamor Concepción Arenal Rosalía De Castro
The two world wars in the early and mid-century, led to the massive entry of women to work, replacing men who were at the front. This was the beginning of a feminist revolution to achieve social and professional equality with men that continues nowadays.
With the advent of the Second Republic, 1931-1936, a short period of progress began and achieved, among other things, something as important as divorce or the right to vote.
The legislation of the Republic represented great progress in recognizing the rights of women and their integration into politics. This forced them to reform discriminatory laws, the concession of the vote for women, equal rights for both sexes and the possibility of access to public posts.
In 1936 the Civil War broke out, the Republican side lost and a long dictatorship began which will cover nearly half a century and where the situation of women will suffer a great setback. The hard-won achievements are cancelled, the church is allied with the new powers, establishing a National Catholicism that influenced the lives of several generations.
In this long period that left behind nearly a million dead, political measures were taken to: Divorce law is abolished Marriage among young is encouraged Abortion and contraception are penalized Protection to large families is established Female adultery is penalized Coeducation is deleted Compulsory women's Social Service. Compulsory Home exam is required to obtain a college degree. A mandatory subject of domestic science is created, trusting its teaching to Feminine Section.
The Feminine Section was formed as the female branch of the Spanish Falange political party and was disbanded in 1977 after General Franco’s death and the subsequent liquidation of his regime.
In the early years of Franco´s regime its institutional role was consolidated by giving it the exclusive control of women´s education. A patriarchal model was imposed while in other countries had already been outdated.
What the Feminine Section intended, was to instill a model of woman that chose obedience and service for her necessary biological reproductive role. To create this stereotype they counted on strong support from the Catholic Church.
For the Church the revolution of women's clothing which was carried out by the great couturier Coco Chanel who freed the woman from previous ties, was not well regarded.
But not only did the system try to brainwash from education but also by the media. Comics for young people presented the man as a brave hero and the woman sweet and feeble, always in danger and, that would be saved by the great hero. There were magazines aimed specifically at women trying to instill all these ideassending certain messages.
Carmen Laforet Despite the terrible censorship that NationalCatholicism had imposed, the twentieth century Spanish narrative, over all, which is knownas the fifties generation, will bemarked by important writers that will narrate the life during the post war. Carmen Martín Gaite Ana María Matute (Cervantes’ Prize 2010) Josefina Aldecoa
In the sixties, Spain discovered tourism under the strict gaze of Franco´s moral. Spain entered the ONU and the recognition of women's privileges takes place from July 15, 1961 with the law on political, professional and labor.
The opening to Europe with migration and tourism came to join to the economic and religious changes. A wave of liberality undermined the uses of a fossilized moral.
Mary Quant invents the miniskirt, which takes the demure fashion ahead of previous years. Ives St. Laurent popularizes trousers suits. Fashion imposes bikini at the beaches and pools.The hairstyle and makeup change, accesories become exaggerated, that somehow symbolize the great transformation that slowly moves toward completion.
Theentrance of womenintotheworkforce and theirincreasingaccesstohighereducationwasone of the causes of thedeepchangesthathappened in customs, valuesan ideas.
María Telo SurroundingthelawyerMariaTelotheAssociation of WomenLawyers emerged in 1971 whichinfluenceddecisively in thereformsthatweremade in the Civil Code, Penal and Labor Law.
The transition period was a policy framework favorable to the Spanish feminist movement since the interest that the issue of woman wakes makes political parties create women's organizations. This movement was similar to the European ones.
Important media, playwrights, filmmakers, musicians etc. alsocontributedtothefeminist cause and theprotestsong emerged powerfully.Itwaslinkedto anti Franco activism and denouncedunfairsituations.
The enactment of the Spanish Constitution marked the recognition of equality in the face of law for men and women as one of the principles of the Spanish juridical organization.
It is clear that during the last twenty five or thirty years, great strides have been given in order to balance the women's rights situation, but it is also clear that there are many things to solve. Reality has shown that the struggle was not over and had to continue, but from other angles.
Equal opportunities for women involves the participation and representation in decision–making positions but it is evident that, at the moment, women have not had access to positions of power in the same way as men yet.
Politicalparties are anessentialreference in recognition of women'spoliticalrights.Gender policies are already part of the State policy. For the development of these policies, the invaluable support of the European Parliament, must be stressed.
In 1982 the Socialist Party won the elections and the following year 16/1983 by law of 24 October the Women's Institute was created. A far-reaching measure that institutionalized policies of equality.
From the 80's the University took on more feminine students to the extent of training a larger number of female graduates than male graduates.Professional Training experiments a great change. They are trained to develop all sorts of jobs, even those which until recently were considered exclusively for men, such as welders, policemen, soldiers etc
By increasing training it also increases women´s presence in the world of work. There is a change in mentality. Equality policies that have been developed over these years, have ended with the prohibitions of entering the profession you want, but they faces an obstacle race that must be overcome day by day.
With the advent of the eighties, the Spanish cultural scene suffered a huge seizure. It's the end of an era where censorship, so prevalent in previous decades, at last disappeared. Fashion becomes daring and The designer Adolfo Dominguez invented the slogan "Creases are beautiful", breaking the stereotypes that worked so far.
There has been no other institution in Spain that has had such a deep transformation, in the last twenty five years, as the family.Family diversity is extending and new ways of cohabitance are being more naturally accepted.
Unresolved issues Whileaccesstoeducation, theworkforce, politics, etc. can beconsidered a breakthrough and a success of thepolicy of equalopportunitiesthere are stillmanyproblemstobesolvedbothwithinwork and family.
Today's women have the same rights as men and equal responsibilities and obligations. They are present in all fields, Science, Art, Technology, running the home, making decisions, in the sexual initiative without losing her femininity and maternal functions.
March 8 isourday, A DAY BY AND FOR US. Fromthestruggle of suffragistswhofirstdemandedtherightto vote untiltoday, womenhaveachievedmanygoals. Theprivatehouseholdhavegonepublic and social space. Wehavebuilt a workinglife and many of ourrightshavebeenrecognized.
European Workshop “Our Continent-Our Culture” Teamwork: Carlos Piñeiro Luz Mary Calderón Mª Luisa Morado Mª Carmen Varela Coordinator: Pilar Millor Arias Senior University Ferrol (A Coruña) 2010-2011 Music: Milladoiro