Irene Montero leads the Ministry of Equality, a department of the Government of Spain responsible for the proposal and execution of the government’s policy on equality, with a focus on the achievement and reality of equality between men and women, real and effective, not only on paper, but also on the prevention and eradication of different forms of violence against women.
The roles of the department also include the eradication of all types of sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, age, disability or other personal or social circumstances discrimination. This ministry existed from 2008 to 2010, when it merged with the Ministry of Health; since 2020, it returned as an independent ministry.
A psychologist by profession, the young politician began her career in 2011, at just 23 years old, joining the support platform for those affected by the impossibility of paying their mortgage, and being at risk of eviction.
In 2017, Forbes nominated her in the 30 under 30 – Championing European’s rights and political movements – Law&Policy category – the brave young woman who later became the spokeswoman for the left-wing Podremos party.
She studied psychology in Madrid, holds a master’s degree in educational psychology and received a scholarship to Harvard University, which she turned down to enter politics.
Montero was a candidate in Madrid at the Congress of Deputies for Podemos in the elections of December 20, 2015, and since February 18, 2017, she has been the spokesperson of the Confederal Group Unite We Can-In Comú Podem-En Marea, being the youngest representative of democracy.
At the Vistalegre II congressional elections under the leadership of Podemos, she was elected as a member of the State Citizen Council, being the most voted woman.
As an MP, in June 2017, Montero became the first woman in Spanish history to intervene in parliament on a motion of no confidence.
Irene is in a domestic partnership with Pablo Iglesias, leader of the Podemos party, and they have three children: two twin boys and a girl.
The Ministry of Equality is not the only institution in Spain that defends women’s rights. The Women’s Institute is a public institution linked to the Spanish Ministry of Equality, whose objective is to defend the conditions that make possible the social equality of men and women and to ensure the participation of women in social activities, and cultural and economic life. The head of this Institute is María Antonia Morillas González, appointed in 2021 and considered one of the most influential women in Spain.
She appears in the list of the 500 most influential personalities in Spain, a list created by the Spanish magazine Marca2, with news from the economic, entrepreneurial and technological world. In this report, many female personalities appear, including feminists.
Flor de Torres Porras – prosecutor responsible for cases of gender-based violence. This jurist and public law researcher specializes in violence against women and is recognized for her work in the field of attention paid to women victims of violence.
Susana Gisbert Grifo – feminist, writer, prosecutor specializing in gender violence, former spokesperson of the prosecutor’s office in the province of Valencia.
Cristina Fallaras Sanchez – Spanish writer and journalist, defender of women’s rights.
María Luisa de Contes – of French origin, founder and president of the influential association Mujeres Avenir, former secretary general and member of the boards of directors of Groupe Renault subsidiaries until 2020, and director of Social Responsibility and the Foundation for Inclusion and Sustainability. The French government named her Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2008 and Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur in 2015.
In a country that, after 150 years, is preparing for the reign of a queen, in the person of Princess Leonor, daughter of King Felipe VI, female leadership is on the rise.
Photo: Facebook Public Page of Irene Montero