Gender Equality and De-Democratization Processes: The Case of Spain

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Democracy is an ally of the feminist project and a necessary condition for its success. The European post-crisis context shows evidence of de-democratization processes that represent a remarkable challenge. This article investigates gender equality and processes of de-democratization in Spain in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. It argues that neoliberalism, authoritarian shifts, and political corruption are three key dimensions of the processes of de-democratization in Spain that contribute to oppose gender equality. However, political contestation and feminist collective agency both in movements and institutions have played a key role in counteracting these dynamics. Civil society and feminist movements’ struggles for democracy, equality and social justice, the role of new populist left parties in channeling some of the protesters’ demands, gender equality institutions keeping gender on the agenda despite austerity cuts, and new local governments emerging from civic platforms after the 2015 elections have been effective in resisting attacks to Spanish democracy. A thorough revision of academic literature and other secondary sources helps to capture the specificities of this complex political setting.
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