Spain will compute from now on the Francoist female “social service” to access partial retirement, as was already the case with the military service (‘la mili’) or its substitute social service that men had to fulfill during the dictatorship. With the approval of the measure this Wednesday, endorsed unanimously in the Senate, a sample of “discrimination” of women in the Spanish legal system ends, the vast majority of political groups in the Upper House have celebrated.
The Supreme Court already recognized the right to early retirement
The bill has been defended this morning by the PSOE, the group that presented the law in Congress. The first block of the coalition government’s pension reform, approved in December 2021, has already equated the female “social service” to the military and the male social service in terms of access to early retirement. This comparison had been endorsed by several courts, up to the Supreme Court, which issued jurisprudence in 2020.
However, the assimilation with a view to partial retirement had been pending, which was not addressed in the pension reform. partial retirement it allows older workers (62 years and older) to reduce their working hours and receive part of their future retirement pension, as a formula for progressive exit from the labor market.
Finally, the equalization of both Francoist services (female and male) has been definitively approved this morning, with no vote against, this Wednesday in the Senate. The different political groups have celebrated the end of a difference that they have considered unjustified and that has harmed women for years.
Up to one year of contributions for partial retirement
Thus, in the 33 years of contribution that must be demonstrated to access partial retirement, women’s “social service” can be computed in the same way that it occurs with ‘military service’ and men’s social service, with the maximum limit of one year.
The change in Social Security will be applied as soon as it enters into force, “the same day as its publication in the Official State Gazette” (BOE), which will take place in the coming days.
The measure is expected to benefit a small number of women, the senators have recognized this morning in the Upper House, since it is approved “very late.” Most of the women entitled to the measure are already above the ordinary retirement age or have died, but the youngest women who had to comply with this obligation with effect until 1978 will be able to resort to this improvement if they wish.
The “social service” in the hands of the Women’s Section of the Falange was mandatory for women between 17 and 35 who were single, who wanted to access a paid job or an academic or official title, as well as for those women who wanted to obtain passport or driving license, among other issues.
From the PSOE they have highlighted that, although the number of beneficiaries is limited, the approval of the legal change is intended to end discrimination that still affects some citizens. Senator Paloma Hernández Cerezo has also underlined the “symbolic” importance of ending this inequality and making visible a Francoist service that tried to “teach you to be a woman” from a patriarchal vision, for which the woman “needed guardianship” or from her husband or from the dictatorship itself to carry out basic actions such as working or studying, unlike men.
The PP, although it has supported the bill, presented two amendments in the Senate that have been rejected by the Chamber. One was intended to prevent the “card” or other means of accreditation of this female social service, often difficult to prove, from being requested, and the second provided that both the military service and the female service be taken into account to access ordinary retirement, an issue that has been pending for years.
The PSOE have responded to the PP that this last issue must be addressed in the Toledo Pact, with more debate and analysis by all the parliamentary groups, and not through an amendment in the Upper House.