Councillor quits in row over sex equality law
19 March 2007, HUELVA – The new sex equality law claimed its first political victim on Monday with the resignation of a female councillor because her party opposed the law.
19 March 2007
HUELVA – The new sex equality law claimed its first political victim on Monday with the resignation of a female councillor because her party opposed the law.
Josefa Rodríguez, a former Popular Party councillor in Huelva in south-west Spain, said she quit her post because her party “does not believe in the equality of women”.
She held the role of councillor for consumer affairs and citizens’ issues in Huelva.
Rodríguez told a press conference she could not serve under the city mayor, Pedro Rodriguez and his team, because they were “removed from reality”.
She said the PP does not believe in women’s rights.
Last week, the PP was the only party to oppose a new sexual equality law which introduced a number of measures, including quotas for women on company boards and in electoral lists.
The gender equality law stipulates that by 2015, women should occupy 40 percent of the seats on the boards of the country's biggest corporations.
The measure passed by a vote of 192 in favour but with the abstention of the main opposition conservative Popular Party, whose leader, Mariano Rajoy, said that "they can't impose quotas on anyone" to achieve equality.
The law includes measures such as 15 days of paternity leave, which will be expanded to one month once an employee has six years in the job and, in the case of the births of premature babies, maternity leave will be increased to start at the moment when the infant leaves the hospital.
In addition, it includes the right to a reduction in the length of the workday, it increases unpaid leave to care for a sick relative from one year to two, and it sets forth that sexual harassment is any verbal or physical behaviour that attacks a person's dignity.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero addressed Parliament to emphasize that the law is designed to "do justice for women."
Mayor Rodríguez said he was “surprised” at the resignation, adding that “until yesterday our relationship was fluid and normal”.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news