Ana Pastor: "The defense of equality must not include parties or ideologies" - La Provincia

Ana Pastor, president of the Congress of Deputies. Photo: Armando Huerta

Ana Pastor, president of the Congress of Deputies, considers that the fight for equality should be left out of the partisan debate, since it concerns all, men and women. It highlights the State Pact against gender violence reached in 2017 and believes it is a priority to provide women with employment and conciliation opportunities. "To equal work, equal salary", he says.

-It is undeniable that in the last 40 years we have attended social conquests and very relevant legal changes in favor of equality, but many consider that this progress is being very slow. What does Ana Pastor think?

-Indeed, if we contemplate the advances in the conquest of equality between women and men from a historical point of view it seems undeniable that this is being very important but tremendously slow, because it only begins to take advanced body in the 19th century and in some places as Spain, well into the twentieth century and always very timidly.

For Spanish women, the real qualitative leap has its turning point in the Constitution of 1978. It is in it where the full equality of women and men is recognized and the foundations are laid for developing it within our society. And I sincerely believe that things have changed a lot in these four decades. Seen in perspective, progress has been made although we still have much ahead.

Throughout history there have been more than 150 presidents of the Congress of Deputies. Only two women. You are the second ... What should be the purpose, in your opinion, of International Women's Day?

-The fact that there have only been two women presidents in almost two centuries is a reflection of the omnipresence of men in all areas. International Women's Day is and should continue to be an auspicious occasion for society as a whole, both women and men, to commit ourselves to working tirelessly so that the equality that is in many cases reflected in our laws is transferred from effective way to the life of women, to the daily reality in which we can see every day and in all areas that there is a great distance between legal equality and real equality, in the family, companies, the Administration, the politics and in the day to day of our society. Reality is stubborn.

"Seen in perspective, progress has been made although we still have much ahead"

-From the institutional position that gives you your position in Congress, do not you have the feeling that the parties enter a race to patrimonialize the struggle for equality and especially when the elections come?

-If we can make a positive balance in the XII legislature, it is that all the groups in the Chamber have approved a pact against violence against women. And I think it's an important milestone because all the parliamentary groups agreed that certain issues like this should be left out of the partisan debate. I trust and hope that it continues to be so. And that this consensus extends to all equality policies.

-The State Pact against gender violence was reached at the end of 2017, but most of the measures of this pact have not yet been implemented. why? If it is so important and urgent, why do you think politicians go so slowly?

-The pact is very ambitious in terms of the measures that are to be implemented. Some require a legislative development. But I am sure that all of them will start up with the support of the whole Chamber. And, you are right, I think you have to make an effort setting specific deadlines for each measure.

-By the way, what do you think that paternity leave has been extended to 16 weeks?

-Any extension of paternity or maternity leave seems good news to me.

- It seems good that companies have the obligation to publish the data to highlight the cases in which there is a wage gap? Is salary transparency necessary?

-In this, as everything in life, we must prioritize what is important. And for women the most important thing is to have a job, to have economic independence because that way they can have a life project, without asking permission from anyone. It seems to me unquestionable that among all of us we have to continue working to continue reducing the wage gap between women and men. The government of President Rajoy managed to reduce it by five points, to put it almost three points below the European average. But it's not enough. We should not rest until we close the labor gap and, of course, the wage gap. Women need a job and equal pay for equal work.

-You have been a deputy, Minister of Health and Minister of Development in Popular Party governments, what differentiates the PP from the PSOE in the policies of defense of gender equality?

- As I explained to you a moment ago, the defense of equality must not understand parties or ideologies. It must be a struggle of all, of all society, of women and of men. Because everyone, our entire society has to work for so many women who have no voice, for the most vulnerable, for those who suffer the most harrowing scourge, which is violence against women, for the more than 980 women murdered by their couples since there are records in the year 2003. Terrible.

-In the management of large companies we are still far from parity, how do you think that a greater presence of women in the management bodies can be promoted? Are you in favor or against the quotas?

I would like to emphasize that the priority in equality policies must be that there is not a single woman without employment opportunities, of really effective policies to reconcile work, family and personal life, of better pensions ... That said, the problem that you allude is real.

It is unquestionable that in the management bodies, the number of women does not sympathize with the presence of women in companies, with their level of education and with their capacity for leadership. And that measures are needed so that this does not happen. The current situation is that the vast majority of presidents and CEOs are men and the board of directors of the IBEX does not even reach 20%. I am not seduced by the idea of ​​a woman occupying a managerial position just because she is a woman, but I am less seduced by the idea, that more than an idea is an unquestionable fact, that the system has allowed men to perpetuate themselves in those situations. posts.

- Be feminist seems a label? Can you defend women without going on strike on March 8?

Every day I am more feminist, if possible. Feminism must understand neither ideologies nor parties ... It must be transversal in our society. A struggle of women and men. I'm thinking of thousands of women who do not have to identify with a political party, and even who do not vote. And they are not willing for politicians to speak for them. As I like to say: please, do not speak for us.

"It is a priority to improve the pensions of women in this country"

-What is the first measure that, in your opinion, should the Popular Party take on equality if it reaches the Government in the next general elections?

Many women in our country find that, when they reach their retirement age and because they have not had effective policies to reconcile family and work life, for having contributed for a few years, the pension they have is small. Not to mention the widows' pensions.

During the Government of Mariano Rajoy a measure was already launched that has already reached 500,000 women, mothers with children, who have seen their pension increased up to 15%. Undoubtedly, one of the priority measures is the improvement of pensions for women in this country.


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