Spain’s socialists published a female-themed manifesto on Tuesday aimed at drawing in women voters in the upcoming general elections, who according to polls make up half of the 40 percent of undecided voters.
The most striking measure proposed is the outlawing of prostitution, an industry that’s been largely tolerated in post-dictatorship Spain, aside from sex work linked to human trafficking and abuse.
“Prostitution, which we aim to abolish, is one of the cruelest aspects of the feminisation of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women,” reads the text.
Despite the fact that this clause was only included in the manifesto after criticism from feminist groups, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez has previously tweeted that sex work in Spain is illegal (it technically isn’t, nor is it regulated) and called for clients and pimps to receive punishment rather than the prostitutes themselves.
Sánchez was left red in the face after it emerged that a sex workers union was approved by his own administration in August 2018.
In the manifesto Spain’s socialists also promised a crack down of surrogacy agencies (already illegal in Spain), which according to the manifesto “undermine women’s rights, in particular those of the most vulnerable by treating their bodies and reproductive functions as business merchandise”.
Sánchez promises instead that IVF treatments will be made more easily available on the national health system.
Other assurances brought to the electoral table include the introduction of 16 weeks of paternity leave to equal that for mothers, a revisal of working hours in favour of more free time as well as stricter and more specific laws on sex crimes.