The Equality Unit values ​​the gender perspective in justice
July 14, 2022

“It is one of the most difficult things that we can promote”, affirms the director of the Equality Unit of the UCM, Magdalena Suárez, at the inauguration of the course “The value of judging and deciding with a gender perspective”, which she directs on July 11 and 12 in the Summer Courses of the Complutense University. Professor Suárez explains that she has included the word “value” in the title for two reasons: because it is a value to introduce the gender perspective in the field of law and justice and “because you have to have courage to do it “.

Isabel Tajahuerce, the rector’s delegate for Equality, and the magistrate of the Constitutional Court Inmaculada Montalbán , present at the opening ceremony of the conference, also agree on the difficulty of the objective, although they qualify it. For Professor Tajahuerce it is “as difficult as it is in all areas”. For the magistrate, who wants to send a more optimistic message, “it is true that there is resistance, but we have very important regulatory instruments in our favor.”

Judge Inmaculada Montalbán recounts that in her years as a district judge, where she received complaints of mistreatment suffered by many women at the hands of their husbands, she learned that applying the laws, always drafted in accordance with the generality and with a supposed neutrality, needs on many occasions “another look that prevents the impact of the norm from worsening the situation”. Domestic violence was then treated in the same way as “a burglary or the theft of a radio cassette”, and the penalty used to consist of house arrest for the aggressor, that is, “we sent him home so that he could be next to the woman who had attacked”.

Montalbán affirms that in recent years much progress has been made and the gender perspective has found a niche in the courts. It has done so, as indicated by the now magistrate of the Constitutional Court, thanks to milestones such as the approval of the Organic Law of Equality in 2007, but also by appealing to articles of the Constitution, such as 9.2, which speaks of the defense of fundamental rights, or 14, dedicated to non-discrimination, and also, of course, to what is contained in international and European legislation in that same sense. According to Montalban, many Supreme Court rulings have consolidated the application of the gender perspectivein the courts and, although in the Constitutional Court, however, there is still a lot to do, it can be affirmed that the application of the gender perspective in justice is “progressing and, moreover, without complexes. I am optimistic”, he concluded, not without first pointing out that “the gender perspective is good for all of society, men and women, because it creates a fairer and more equitable society”.

For the delegate of the rector Isabel Tajahuerce, it is essential that the gender perspective be included in the curricula of all areas of knowledge, and, of course, in Law immediately. In her opinion, this inclusion must be made by law. “We have already gone out on the street a lot; it is from above that we have to do it now”, affirmed the Complutense professor, positioning herself against “cursillismo”. “Just as no one is a magistrate doing a three-week course, in gender with a three-day course you cannot believe that you already know everything,” said the rector’s delegate for Equality, recalling that Royal Decree 822/2021 already recognizes thegender studies as a field of knowledge.