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Lidia Falcón: “The future is feminist or not at all”

Rosario Pérez · Photos: Fran Montes

The well-known writer, politician, and activist Lidia Falcón affirmed in Algeciras that the time has come for feminism to move out of the streets and into politics.

“It is very good that on the 8th of March there should once again be a massive demonstration in Spain, especially in these times it is necessary to be heard … But feminism must have a political element, because legislation and government doesn’t happen on the streets.

In the end, the power is in the hands of the signatory of the Spanish Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado), and what does not appear does not exist.”

A graduate in Law, Dramatic Art, and Journalism, with a PhD, the well-known writer, politician, and feminist activist Lidia Falcón recently gave a lecture in Algeciras on ‘Feminism in the face of the current political situation’ at the Alcultura Association and affirms that “the future is feminist or not at all.”

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Falcón, who played an important role during the Spanish Transition, and who suffered persecution and torture for her political ideas during the Franco dictatorship, warned about the need for the Feminist Party, created from the Revolutionary Feminist Organisation (Organización Feminista Revolucionaria), which she founded in 1977, should work to have proper representation in government.

“One of the biggest deficiencies of our democracy is the number of gender-based violent incidents. In that we have failed. It is not acceptable that more than 100 women are murdered every year, that a rape is reported every 8 hours, and that children are murdered and orphaned because their father killed their mother…”

In addition to “this terrible issue, to which we must find a solution,” Falcón pointed out that there are many other issues related to real equality between women and men, which after 40 years of democracy are not yet resolved: the wage gap, the enormous inequality in the purchasing power of women (38% less purchasing power than men), differences in pensions…

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“But these issues can only be resolved in the Congress of Deputies. Protesting in the streets is fine, but that, by itself, is not enough if feminists are not in the places in which decisions are made,” insisted the activist who edits the magazine Poder y Libertad (Power & Freedom) since 1979.

Author of numerous plays and books, fifteen essays, and several chronicles and biographies, Lidia Falcón considers that Spain is experiencing times of great uncertainty, a few weeks away from a spring full of elections (municipal, autonomous, and European, and now, also general elections), in which feminism, as a political option, must participate.

“The statistics for violence against women are unacceptable in a modern and advanced European country, and we are also certain that they are even greater than they were years ago not only because more crimes are reported, as it is usually said, but because, previously, women were submissive, isolated in their homes and in the domestic chores… and without access to a divorce.”

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“The moment we began to have rights, and, among them, the freedom to break from that ‘slavery’ and that subjection to the ‘master’, and we decided to have a free life, and work, and go out … well, that is something male chauvinists do not understand, do not assimilate completely”…

For Falcón, who in 1976 also created the Colectivo Feminista de Barcelona, the magazine Vindicación Feminista, and the publishing house Ediciones de Feminismo, the proof of what she affirms is that most of the murders are committed when the couple is already in the process of separation or divorce.

“The cases have increased alarmingly, and we have no sense that this will change, because there are no adequate mechanisms, nor is there a law that really protects women: 30 percent of those killed had previously filed a complaint, and some had even got a restraining order, and yet nobody protected them … It’s not just about giving financial compensation to orphans: what you have to aim for is that there are no orphans.”

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