Cristina Alberdi Alonso
Cristina Alberdi Alonso

Political Development

Party Affiliation

Profession/ Current priorities

Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments




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[ European Commission, DG V ]

© Jan 2001

European Database: Women in Decision-Making

Cristina Alberdi Alonso

Political Development

1. What made you decide to go into politics?
For me, feminism is politics. Maybe it was my commitment to the development of women, which I acquired in the seventies, what led me to become a politician.

2. Do/did you have a role model?
None in particular, but I do follow the model of left-wing commitment.

3. Is there a tradition of political involvement/policy - making in your family?
We are not a family of politicians; even so, after I entered the political arena other members of my family followed suit.

4. Were you involved in grassroots activities etc.?
Yes, I took part in many associations. I've always been at the forefront of the civil society movements. Feminism was not organised in parties but it was an important political work.

5. Were there disruptions in your political career?
None. I've almost always been fully dedicated to politics.

6. Were there disruptions in your biography that have had an impact on your political career? Have your objectives changed during your political career?
No.

7. How and why did your political objectives change during your political career?
My objectives haven't changed, or only slightly. They've always been linked to the struggle of women to achieve equality. Initially I set up a lawyer's office dedicated to defending women. From there, I became a member of the Legal Council (Consejo del Poder Judicial) and subsequently returned to my legal practice. Later on, I was appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Equal Opportunities.

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Party Affiliation

1. Motivation for joining a political party?
I concluded it was the most efficient manner to achieve results in my struggle to defend women's rights and equal opportunities.

2. Which party and when?
I became a member of the P.S.O.E in October 1995.

3. Does your party have equal opportunity regulations?
Yes, it has firm commitments regarding peer democracy and the new Social Contract.

4. Which office/function did you hold in your party at the beginning? How long after joining? How did you get into running for office?
I started as a base militant. Two years later, I was appointed President of the Socialist Federation of Madrid. This appointment was the result of a rather outstanding political career and because women were wanted in positions of responsibility.

5. Did you have mentors within your party?
None that I can think of, although somebody invited me to join the Ministers cabinet even though I wasn't a party member.

6. Have you ever changed party affiliation?
No.

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Profession/ Current priorities

1. How does your profession relate to your political work?
A very close one because my profession was linked to equality between men and women and to the struggle to reform the laws. In my political career, I continued working along the same lines.

2. What kind of qualifications do you have?
Counsellor at law.

3. Is there a link between your professional life and your political career?
Not exactly, but my ideological motivation and political commitment have always been linked to my professional and political careers.

4. In what areas do you see your special competencies?
In legal matters, and naturally in everything related to legal reforms as well as social and gender issues.

5. What are your political priorities?
Defending the rights of women.

6. Main fields of action?
Legal and social affairs.

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Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments

1. Which objectives would you like to achieve through your political work?
To continue advancing towards equality between men and women, which has proved to have an impressive potential for transformation and to be one of the drivers in the move toward the most meaningful equality issues?

2. How and why have your political objectives changed during your political career?
My objectives haven't changed. The ones I mentioned above maintain their validity.

3. Do equal opportunities strategies in your opinion have an impact in your country in the promotion of women in decision-making- please specify?
Of course, these strategies facilitated the access of women to positions of responsibility. Without them, progress would have been much slower.

4. Have women benefited from that strategy? How would you evaluate it?
In my view, all women have benefited from these strategies because they were implemented by a large amount of people.

5. Do you see direct or indirect discrimination in conventional policy-making?
Both types, direct and indirect, as well as manifest and blatant.

6. What keeps women away from politics?
Years of prejudice and intolerance.

7. What are the major obstacles that women need to overcome?
The main obstacles are stereotypes. Some prejudices against women are deeply rooted.

8. What obstacles have you had to overcome in your own career?
Those very prejudices and stereotypes.

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