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EDP MEPs tell us why they chose to fight for Europe

"Languages, cultures, regional differences and local initiatives must be cherished because they are Europe’s strongest asset."

2022, the 100th anniversary of the constitution of Emakume Abertzale Batza, the first political grouping of Basque women

Emakume Abertzale Batza

Today, to hear a woman in the public square claiming the role of women in politics and in general advocating for equality is very necessary, but fortunately part of our reality. In 1922 it was truly innovative, courageous and unusual. That is why the Basque Nationalist Party, one of the founding organisations of the European Democratic Party (EDP), wanted to celebrate this 8th March by remembering that, in 1922, these demands for equality were already being made in the Basque Country by the women's organisation of the Basque National Party. (EAJ-PNV)

Today, to hear a woman in the public square claiming the role of women in politics and in general advocating for equality is very necessary, but fortunately part of our reality. In 1922 it was truly innovative, courageous and unusual. That is why the Basque Nationalist Party, one of the EDP founding organisations, wanted to celebrate this 8th March by remembering that, in 1922, these demands for equality were already being made in the Basque Country by the women's organisation of the Basque National Party. (EAJ-PNV)

As can be seen in the video, the Basque nationalist party has been supporting equality, feminism and plurality for more than a century, and the creation of Emakume Abertzale Batza (EAB) in 1922 is part of this mission. This association embraced the participatory aspirations of Basque nationalist women, carried out a great deal of social work in the fields of culture, education, associations and the normalisation of the Basque language, and maintained an intense political activity aimed at the national construction of Basque Country.

To remember that movement, its initiatives, its results and the legacy it has left in the political action of EAJ PNV, this party, founder of the PDE_EDP, has published a poster and a video on the occasion of the 8th of March in which the cry of one of those pioneers, Haydée Aguirre, is visually echoed by six of the many women who have made their mark on the road to equality: from Maite Sáez de Olazagoitia, one of the first five women MPs after the 1980 Basque Elections (three of the other four were also members of EAJ'PNV) to Maialen Gurrutxaga, who in 2016 became the youngest Basque MP in history at the age of 24, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, now a EDP MEP and the first woman speaker of the Basque Parliament, Itxaso Atutxa (first chairwoman of the basque national party in Bizkaia), María Solana (first member of EAJ-PNV who was councillor in the Government of Navarre) and Lierni Abasolo currently a member of Youth section of Basque national party (Euzko Gaztedi-EGI). All six take part in the video that EAJ-PNV has also released today, reading an extract from a memorable speech that Karmele Errazti, a member of EAB, gave in the aforementioned year of 1922.

This week, as a prelude to the 8th of March, the Basque Parliament approved a new equality law at the proposal of the EAJ-PNV-led government. In 2005, the Basque Country became a pioneering community when it passed the Law for the Equality of Women and Men. Seventeen years later, it is once again setting the benchmark by promoting a comprehensive reform that provides us with a more solid framework to protect women, and which will be key to identifying violence as the ultimate expression of gender inequality.

Emakume Abertzale Batza