The rise of authoritarianism has catalyzed a rollback of gender violence protections and support systems.
When thousands of protesters took to the streets of Madrid last week to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, they were greeted with a controversial demand from Spain’s surging far-right Vox party — that the country repeal a landmark law aimed at protecting women from violence, citing its unfairness toward men.
“There are also men who suffer violence from women and are killed by their wives,” said the party’s secretary general, Javier Ortega Smith, at City Hall. And women have also suffered “violence from their lesbian partners.”
Spain’s Vox party is not alone in thinking this way.
Over the last few years, a global surge in right-wing, authoritarian movements has spurred a broad backpedaling on women’s rights and, in particular, protections against gender-based violence.