The new Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, appointed half of his cabinet seats to women and is making female empowerment a top priority. According to Women’s eNews, a leading Spanish feminist hailed the prime minister’s push for women’s equality stating that “we didn’t want them to appoint just any women…we wanted women who think like feminists and who use their posts to fight for equality and all the aspirations that we Spanish women have.”
According to Women’s eNews, Zapatero has promised to legalize Spain’s restrictive abortion law that is highly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Abortion is illegal in Spain except in cases of rape and severe birth defects. In addition, the new government is planning on making gay and lesbian marriage legal, opposing the Church’s stance against the legalization of gay and lesbian marriage.
The Prime Minister also promised to pass legislation to fight domestic violence. Spain’s Federation of Separated and Divorced Women’s Associations has reported 97 women who were killed by their husbands or boyfriends in 2003.
In comparison, the United States Department of Justice reports that, in 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner in the United States. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, more than three women are murdered by their male companions in the United States every day.