It has been the last name to be known and the most unknown: the socialist Ana Redondo García (Valladolid, 1966) will be the head of a ministry that was the greatest point of friction in the outgoing coalition and has caused an internal and external, political and social, that of Equality. His appointment may be a response to these turbulences – the consequences of the law of only yes is yes, the reductions in sentences and releases for those convicted of sexual crimes, and the debate around the trans law opened the biggest wounds among PSOE and Unidas Podemos—, and the “need,” say socialist sources, for a period of calm around a portfolio that historically, regardless of who has held it when it has had its own entity, has been under the magnifying glass. Doctor in Constitutional Law and professor at the University of Valladolid, this year she had returned to teaching at the Law Faculty after several years focused on local politics, where she comes from. Those who know her say that she has a “solid” background and she is “dialogue and constructive.” She also talks about the name of someone who didn’t have her name on the radar: the feminist movement.
Anonymous among feminist theorists and experts, surprise has spread over an election that is generally described as “low profile.” For those who are not anonymous, it is for the party, whose trust she has had for years, and it is not the first time that her name has been mentioned around a portfolio. The ministerial opportunity comes to him after rejecting the offer of Culture in 2018, a portfolio that ended that year in the hands of Màxim Huerta and that his municipal and now national cabinet colleague, Óscar Puente (new Minister of Transport), had previously declined.
Redondo, who had a fluid relationship with the media, held the Department of Culture for eight years and commanded the Seminci film festival. Its former director Javier Angulo, who knows the now minister after years of contact in the management of the event, celebrates the appointment of “a woman who experiences everything in an exciting and passionate way, very open, collaborative and open to serving everyone.” . Angulo remembers that with her as a councilor, the Rainbow Spike, an LGTBI film recognition, was created, and that she has also firmly supported the Cinhomo festival, specific to the group. “She has a very strong personality, she is not going to be intimidated, she is a very political woman and I think they choose her for that,” Angulo suspects.
The position in the City Council, where he has served as a loyal figure to former mayor Óscar Puente, was occupied after becoming spokesperson for the socialist group in the Cortes of Castilla y León. The MEP Iban García del Blanco, Redondo’s companion for years, defines her as someone “extraordinarily prepared, trained and thorough”; He believes that her profile, “constructive and dialogue-oriented, but at the same time very convincing and combative,” is the right one for a time that “needs serenity, more pedagogy and less confrontation.” Del Blanco assures that without having a national projection, Redondo has always had a “feminist” profile and “has mobilized a lot in battles in the past, in the Castilian-Leonese courts.” She has been, above all, close to the LGTBI community.
According to the head of the Fundación Triángulo de Valladolid association, Yolanda Rodríguez, she will use that experience to transmit the proposals of a portfolio as sensitive as Igualdad. “She is a close person, with a much kinder speech than the one Podemos had now, with a portfolio that has had many problems due to the law of only yes means yes, or due to statements by Irene Montero,” says the activist. The president of this feminist and pro-LGTBI entity recognizes her “surprise” at the appointment and values “her unquestionable support for LGTBI rights” and her ability to convey, which she considers essential to defend the Government from opposition attacks: “The issues of Equality are thorny for some political options, if they are treated in a more didactic way or taking better care of the messages, without confrontation, it helps to iron out the rough edges that have dynamited the work of the Ministry of Equality this term.”
Everything that has happened around Equality, and feminism, in the last four years has had to do with Redondo’s appointment. The internal unrest among the socialist ranks for handing over the portfolio to Podemos when the coalition was formed; the debates around the trans law, what the Government called “the unintended consequences” of the Sexual Freedom law and the split on the part of the feminist movement due to, among other issues, the two previous ones; due to the controversies that have intermittently aroused the statements of different figures in the ministry, such as the until now minister, Irene Montero, or the secretary of State, Ángela Rodríguez; and also the political and social polarization and the expansion of an anti-feminist discourse that Vox capitalizes on and that spreads among an increasingly younger population. A combination of factors that has made the last four years the most explosive for feminism, although also in which there have been enormous legislative and social advances that must now have a path, development and consolidation.
For that and that reason, the Secretary of Equality of the PSOE, Andrea Fernández from León, values Redondo for her “political and calmer profile, she is a social democrat from Castilla y León who is going to sit down to work.” Fernández knew that the name was among the options for the high position, yet he acknowledges his surprise at the appointment and also points to his more senior profile after a period where, as for many other issues, there were also those who attacked Irene Montero, 35 years old, due to his youth. Redondo is positioned, in some way, as the counterweight to what Montero has meant these last four years.
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