Thursday, May 19

The Congress takes a step to compute the Francoist female service in access to partial retirement

One less step for the Francoist “social service” of women to compute for access to partial retirement, as the military already does and the substitute social benefit carried out by men. All political groups have shown this Tuesday in Congress their support for processing the PSOE’s bill to regulate this issue, almost “symbolic” because of how “late” it arrives, as several parties have recognized. The Government equated the calculation of this female “service” from the Franco era in the face of early retirement and now Parliament will also process that it be taken into account to access partial retirement.

If you are a woman and you went through Franco’s “social service”, that period counts for your early retirement

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The bill has been defended by the socialist deputy Mercè Perea, who has highlighted the computation of women’s “social service” as “a matter of justice and historical reparation.” Perea recalled that the first block of the pension reform of Minister José Luis Escrivá already equated this female service to the male in access to early retirement, “which was already being accepted through jurisprudence.”

After several rulings by higher courts of justice, the Supreme Court recognized this right in 2020. It ruled in favor of calculating the period that a woman spent in the Francoist “Social Service for Women” to access early retirement. Failure to do so, said the sentence, would mean violating the principle of equality of the Constitution and incurring discrimination based on sex.

“With the proposed law we bring that same equality to partial retirement and we comply with recommendation 17 of the Toledo Pact”, argued the deputy Mercè Perea.

The parliamentarian has maintained that “427 women” have benefited from the computation of this “social service” to access early retirement since the Supreme Court ruling.

A question of “justice” that comes “late”

All the parliamentary groups that have taken the floor in the debate on the bill in the plenary session of Congress have shown their support for the initiative. In a generalized way, the deputies of the different formations have considered that the equality is a matter of “justice”, which eliminates the discrimination of treatment of women with respect to the military and the substitute service of men. But they have also highlighted that the measure comes “late”.

“This law today is rather a symbolic law, since the youngest women who did ‘social service’ are today 62 years old. Many of them are already retired, have a widow’s pension or, unfortunately, have died without this equalization, ”said Isabel Franco, from United We Can, who considered that the time for the kit was the Transition.

Some political formations, such as PNV and Compromís, have lamented that the measure is processed as a bill when it could have been approved through a royal decree presented by the Government. That route would have been much faster and more immediate for the potential beneficiaries of the measure, recalled Iñigo Barandiaran (PNV).

Vox has been the only party that, despite announcing its vote in favor, has criticized the speeches of the rest of the formations on the gender inequality that affects women, with many mentions of the prevailing discrimination in the Franco dictatorship. The deputy of the far-right party Lourdes Méndez has affirmed that the rest of the parties have “insulted a lot of women who did a service to their country”. “I am not going to go into whether I agree or disagree with the Franco administration,” she added.

In the parliamentary debate it has also been highlighted that the measure may reach few women due to the difficulty many of them have in obtaining the certificates that demonstrate their “services”. However small the number of beneficiaries may be, the parties have agreed to end this differentiation in the legislation. “It doesn’t matter, because this reform is necessary”, summarized Mertxe Aizpurua, from EH Bildu.