“I come to this demonstration and not to the afternoon one because I am not in favor of regularizing prostitution, I am in favor of abolition,” says a 71-year-old woman who follows the march accompanied by two friends. “And against rented wombs, which are an aberration. And those this afternoon are in favor of that,” she adds, pointing out two of the big issues facing feminism – along with the Trans law – and which are the cause. for the movement to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women separately for the second consecutive year.

The woman walks along Madrid’s Alcalá street, next to a banner that reads “Women, equal and free” and which is held by a large group of ministers and PSOE officials, who support this first march, the one called at 12.00 hours by the Madrid Forum and the Women’s Council, the so-called classic feminists, and which runs between Gran Vía and Plaza de España.

There are the president of the Congress of Deputies, Francina Armengol, the former vice president of the Government and deputy, Carmen Calvo, and the ministers Diana Morant (Science), Isabel Rodríguez (Housing), Pilar Alegría (Education and Government spokesperson), Fernando Grande -Marlaska (Interior) and also the recently appointed Minister of Equality, Ana Redondo, who has chanted with enthusiasm, accompanied by clapping, chants like “not one less, we don’t want free ones.”

The demonstration of classical feminists has thus recovered the presence of the head of Equality, after her predecessor in office, Irene Montero, participated last November 25th in one of the alternative calls organized by the 8M Commission. This year the Podemos leader has also done so, joining the second march, which began at 6:00 p.m. and ran between Atocha and Callao.

The newly appointed Minister of Youth and Children, Sira Rego, has also joined this second demonstration, so the Government has once again attended the event divided. The second vice president and leader of Sumar, Yolanda Díaz, did not participate for health reasons.

The socialist Minister of Equality has appealed to the “unity” of feminism in statements to the media before the start of the demonstration. “My first message is to appeal to unity, it doesn’t matter where we demonstrate, my daughters will go out this afternoon in the demonstration in Valladolid and I am here with my party like so many other times, that is not the significant thing, the important thing is that listen loud and strong to the voice of women and all feminist people,” she said. “Being divided is an asset that Vox and the right have,” she added.

“We’re going to wear medals. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing here if they’re not abolitionists,” a woman wearing the organizers’ vest told us when, upon arriving at the demonstration, we asked where the ministers were. The socialist officials have placed themselves at the end of a poorly attended march that has competed in numbers with the crowd of shopping people who, attracted by the Black Friday sales, occupied the two huge sidewalks of Gran Vía. They have attended this demonstration 2,000 people according to the Government Delegation and 25,000 according to the organizers.

The figure shows how participation has been decreasing after the feminist division. Thus, while in previous years more than 300,000 women took to the streets to demand their rights, last year they did not even reach 30,000 in the two demonstrations, according to data from the Government Delegation.

A few meters in front of the ministers, behind the banner “93 women murdered so far this year”, a hundred women paraded completely dressed in white and with white masks. Those who did not hold the message, each held up a sign with the name of each of the murdered women, victims of gender violence and other femicides: “Paloma Pineda, 46 years old, Valladolid”, “Elizabeth, 44 years old, Balaguer ( Lleida)”, Erica Vanesa, 22 years old, Utrera (Seville)”, “Madeleine Viluta, 20 years old, Burgos (Castilla y León)”…

The demonstration, whose main motto was Against violence against women. Citizen unity and institutional response, has ended with the reading of a manifesto. In it they ask “public bodies” to be “more diligent, more effective and decisive” in the fight against sexist violence against women and for there to be “Zero tolerance for the sexist discourses of the extreme right, already installed in the institutions.” “.

In the last year, since November 25, 2022, they emphasize, 53 women have been murdered by gender violence (another three cases are under investigation), in addition to two minors, victims of vicarious violence. They have also denounced that “sexual violence within a partner, ex-partner or friendly relationship is still invisible, since it is not understood as violence” and recall that sexual crime has increased by 13% in 2023 and that the annual cases of ‘packs’ have risen 54.4% in 2016 and 2021.

In their manifesto, they also denounce “the crimes of pedophilia perpetrated for years by the Catholic Church and other religious denominations” and “the impunity in the reproductive exploitation of women abroad”, in reference to surrogacy.

The division of the feminist movement has once again been evident this afternoon in the streets of Madrid. Podemos and Sumar, the space with which the purple party participated in the general elections, have attended the demonstration called at 6:00 p.m. separately, to the point that they have not even crossed paths visually.

The Minister of Youth and Children, Sira Rego, who has been the representative of Yolanda Díaz’s formation, has summoned the media in Cuesta de Moyano. At the same time, the banner headed by Irene Montero, in turn, was displayed about 200 meters away.

The former head of the Equality portfolio has attended the demonstration supported by Victoria Rosell, Ángela RodríguezPam and Isa Serra, who have integrated her hard core during these administrations. However, the general secretary of Podemos, Ione Belarra, her other great support, was not there.

“Irene Montero, the whole world loves you” and “Irene, sister, here is your pack” have been some of the phrases chanted by the protesters who have paraded behind the banner of the ‘purple’ party, with the slogan Feminists to transform the world.

For her part, the Minister of Youth and Children has had words of recognition for the management in this matter carried out during the last legislature, although she has stressed that the Government has to continue “expanding rights and reinforcing everything that has to do with freedom of women and the eradication of violence against women”. In this sense, she has condemned the 52 sexist murders that have been recorded so far this year and the last group rape of a minor.