26J: prostitution and electoral programs
Just a few days left for national elections which means that finally tv will end with those heavy political debates and we, happy and pleased, will watch other trash on TV.
Waiting for the elections to end, we wanted to find out the position of the 4 major parties regarding prostitution: PP (Popular Party), PSOE (Spanish Socialist Worker's Party), Ciudadanos and Podemos. We have read all political programs and contacted four of them. Only Ciudadanos has answered back.
PP and PSOE stay together adopting an attitude against prostitution’s regulation.
On one hand, Popular Party (PP) in its election manifesto, doesn’t make an specific mention of measures that they want to apply to the paid sex industry. Let’s say that the have kept the same behaviour as usual, that’s to say, not doing a thing. At least they are coherent at a level of immobilism. The only little phrase that appears on their program is:
"We will intensify control measures and policing in school settings to prevent the proliferation of illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, thus ensuring appropriate conditions for the normal development of minors".
In an interview on Dec 2015, PP deputy Marta González, declared that her party has not implemented measures to abolish this activity because "Spanish society is not matured for this. It took 20 years in Sweden”. And when she was asked: “Don’t you think that these women that practice prostitution voluntarily should have labor rights?”, she replied with a blunt and categorical NO.
Remember that they had already taken enough measures (not to say inappropiate or senseless) like the well known "Gag Law", which on the 36.11 and 37.5 articles is considered to fine prostitutes. According to this regulation, exploited women can face penalties of up to 600 euros.
Hetaria, the group that works to defend the rights of prostitutes, expresses its opinion about aforesaid law: "Criminalizes prostitutes’ work, leaving them even less protected and making their work conditions (which are already difficult) even worst. The true objective of its application is to expel women from the street without offering them neither a negotiation nor an alternative”.
On the other hand PSOE considers that prostitution is "a gender violence manifestation and it’s a priority to work for its eradication of one of the cruelest and hopefully last forms of slavery". It’s not a coincidence that on its electoral program has been inserted the prostitution issue in the “Gender Violence” section, stating what follows:
- Adopt measures to develop policies aimed at the abolition of prostitution.
- Reintroducing in the Criminal Code the figure of the person who rents rooms under the terms of the UN Convention which will allow to dismantle sex industry.
- Introducing the figure of penalty of all kinds of lucrative pimping no matter if it’s consented or not by the prostituted person.
- Punish prostitution’s demand and purchase.
Besides, on its program’s Sunday supplement "Women protagonists of change" adds that "Our project also includes measures implemented in our legislation to follow the Swedish model eradication of prostitution according to the law passed in the Nordic country in 1999".
Regulationists (depending on the time)
Ciudadanos and Podemos are on this side. The first one does not say a word about prostitution in its program. It seems that the words of its President Albert Rivera were blown away as on April 2015 he stated: “From the first moment in the Parliament we have defended that it was better to regulate prostitution: what is a crime, what is forbidden and what is voluntary; how is taxed and how is is regulated. It’s an issue that must be tackled and needs debate and agreement” but when the time came for that to be included in his program, either in December or June, he forgot completely.
As we were not very clear about it, we decided to contact them. Our question was clear and direct: Can you clarify your position regarding sex pay sector? The party’s response was also clear, or something like that:
"Ciudadanos considers necessary to address a solution for prostitution in Spain. We cannot keep looking to the other side while leaving many women abandoned in a legal limbo, neither let mafias to go on trafficking under alegality’s protection. One year ago we wanted to lay on the table that debate and also the need of impose legal clarity […]” and blah, blah, blah.
Finally we have Podemos who still have no clear ideas, it seems. In December 2015, Jesus Gil, press officer and member of the Citizen Council of the party, claimed:
"We are contacting various organizations to help us create a stance. Must be informed before and listen to the different sectors concerned". And as they still do not know well how to deal with prostitution’s issue there is no point dedicated to it in its current electoral program.
Maybe Izquierda Unida may help them to take a position as they go together in the elections. Its leader, Alberto Garzón, has stated that "Prostitution is the most extreme grade of Gender Violence", that’s to say they are not abolitionists, they are much more than that. What will the opinion be of the second of Podemos, Iñigo Errejón? In a recent interview he declared: "Prostitution is addressed indirectly, not legalizing it or prohibiting it but ensuring that women are not discriminated in terms of work and they have economic independence, equality than any man. Ultimately, we emphasize economic independence to not exercise as the last way out of a situation of poverty and for the rights to be freely exercised with dignity and without anyone to rule over her body but her".
To date, in Spain prostitution is in a situation of lawlessness, that’s to say, it is not a crime as long as it is not practiced near sites aimed at children such as schools or parks or in areas of public transit which can mean a risk to road safety. The paradox is that, although it does not involve a crime, those who exercise prostitution do not have their rights recognized. Luckily we can rely on the fairness and transparency of the Spaniards politicians which is recognized and acclaimed worldwide. But above all, by their fucking mothers.
What do you think about it?