By Monic Threlfall

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Extra info for Gender Politics and Society in Spain (Routledge Advances in European Politics)

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1 After the Civil War, the closure and disbanding of all the organisations engaging women, the abolition of legal equality and the introduction into law and social practice of comprehensive and explicit discrimination under the auspices of traditionalist fascist and Catholic thinking were incalculable setbacks to further political participation, as all progress was lost (Scanlon 1990: 96). Nevertheless, the dictatorship years (1939–1977) did not represent a complete parenthesis of inactivity for political women.

The second influential group was the Spanish Association of Women Lawyers (Asociación Española de Mujeres Juristas) headed by María Telo. It had started public activity as early as 1969 when it organised, to considerable media attention, the first annual conference of the International Federation of Women Lawyers in Spain, in which the ‘limitations on Spanish women’s legal capacities’ featured quite prominently, though the organisers feared the proceedings might be suspended at any moment (Ruiz 1999: 139–142).

The abortion question hit the headlines on 3 October 1976 when El País launched its weekend colour supplement with the cover story ‘To London for an abortion’, reporting on the 20–30,000 women who made the journey every year to avoid the risk of a prison sentence in Spain. 14 The Association of Women Lawyers organised an international conference in December 1976 on the legal situation of women in which one of its members, the radical feminist Cristina Alberdi, gave a paper defending the decriminalisation of abortion.

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