Esquerra Republicana’s commitment to representation by women feminizes Catalan politics

Over 1,380 women were elected councillors for Esquerra in the May 26 municipal elections, an important step in building feminist councils.

Esquerra Republicana is committed to representation and decision-making by women as a priority and in defence of empowerment to feminize institutional administrations, both municipal and supra-municipal. Esquerra’s goal is to build a Republic where women and men are free and equal, sharing responsibilities, and where women’s access is guaranteed in all areas of representation and decision-making.

However, the presence of women in visible positions is still minor if compared to the true participation of women in public life. The participation of women in equal representation is paramount, and the 2019 municipal elections are a clear example.

In the May 26, 2019 elections, Esquerra Republicana won most votes and was the party that grew most in Catalonia, with over 800,000 votes and more than 3,000 councillors. Historical results that made the party an accurate reflection of society, more transversal, plural and feminist.

The strategic commitment of the Esquerra’s Equality Plan and the application of zipper system to draw up party lists meant that 1,384 councilwomen were elected in the 2019 municipal elections, 44.57% of the total, a very considerable increase on the results of 2015, when 850 women were elected out of 2,384 possible council seats, 36% of the total. These results represented a very important step in the visibility of women in politics and decision-making and the building of feminist municipalities.

The difference with 2015 was also reflected in the number of women candidates who topped Esquerra’s lists. Where in 2015 there were 165 women running, in 2019 that number grew to 229, in 807 municipal races. The number of councils led by women mayors increased to 85 out of a total of 353 Esquerra-led city councils. Esquerra Republicana is thus the party with most women mayors in Catalonia.

Esquerra’s women have gained presence and visibility in the provincial councils too, with a total of 20 councilwomen out of a total of 47 Esquerra representatives, and particularly outstanding is the Chair of the Tarragona Provincial Council held by Noemí Llauradó, the Deputy Mayor of Reus. In municipal organizations, women have also occupied new areas of representation, such as the Federation of Municipalities of Catalonia–FMC, led by the mayor of Vilanova i la Geltrú, Olga Arnau, as well as being the first woman to chair the FMC.