This is the surname that is known and the most unknown: the socialist Ana Redondo García (Valladolid, 57 years old) will be the head of a ministry that will be the biggest point of contention in the emerging coalition and cause an internal and external political tsunami.and social: that of equality. His appointment may be the answer to these upheavals—the consequences of the yes-only law, the reduced sentences and release for those convicted of sex crimes, and the debate on the trans law, which opened the biggest wound between PSOE and Unidas Podemos—and the “need,” say socialist sources, for a period of calm around a portfolio that historically, no matter who holds it when it has its own entity, is under the magnifying glass. A doctor of constitutional law and professor at the University of Valladolid, this year he returned to teach at the Faculty of Law after several years focused on local politics, where he came from. Those who know him say he has a “solid” education and is “dialogue and constructive.” Also talking about his appointment is someone whose name is not on the radar: the feminist movement.
Unknown among feminist theorists and experts, surprise spread in an election that is often described as “low profile.” For those who are not anonymous, it is for the party, whose trust they have had for many years. This is also not the first time that his name has been mentioned in a portfolio. The ministerial opportunity comes to him after rejecting the offer of Culture in 2018, which was previously refused by his municipal and now national cabinet colleague, Óscar Puente (new Minister of Transportation), and which ended that year in the hands of Màxim Huerta.
A few days ago, Félix Bolaños (Minister of the Presidency again, where he will add Justice) asked him about his availability, and he said yes. Redondo, in statements to Europa Press, said he felt “happy and excited” for this “key and transversal” area, where he felt “excited to start, very excited, excited and nervous”, and “so proud to belong.” in a chain of fighters and feminists” that make Spain “a base in terms of equality.”
Redondo, who has a fluid relationship with the media, held the Department of Culture for eight years and directed the Seminci film festival. Its former director, Javier Angulo, who got to know the current minister after years of contact in the management of the event, celebrated the appointment of “a woman who experienced everything in an exciting and passionate way, very open, cooperative, and open to serving everyone.” . Angulo remembers that with him as a councilor, the Rainbow Spike, an LGTBI film recognition, was created, and he also strongly supported the Cinhomo festival, particularly the group. “She has a very strong personality; she is not afraid; she is a very political woman, and I think they chose her for that,” Angulo suspected.
The position in the City Council, where he served as a loyal figure to former mayor Óscar Puente, was occupied after he became the spokesman for the socialist group in the Cortes of Castilla y León. MEP Iban García del Blanco, Redondo’s partner for years, described him as a person “uniquely prepared, trained, and thorough.” He believes that his profile, “constructive and oriented to dialogue, but at the same time very convincing and combative,” is the right one for a time that “needs peace, more pedagogy, and less confrontation.” Del Blanco assures that without a national projection, Redondo has always had a “feminist” profile and was “moved a lot by the fights of the past, of the Castilian-Leonese Cortes.” He is, above all, close to the LGTBI community.
According to Yolanda Rodríguez, head of the Fundación Triángulo de Valladolid association, she will use that experience to pass proposals on a portfolio as sensitive as Igualdad. “He is a close person, with a more sympathetic speech than Podemos today, with a portfolio that has many problems because of the law of yes only means yes, or because of the statements of Irene Montero,” said the activist. The president of this feminist and pro-LGBTBI entity acknowledged his “surprise” at the appointment and appreciated “his unquestionable support for LGTBI rights” and his ability to express, which he considers important to protect the government from the attacks of the opposition: “The equality issues are thorns for some political options; if they are treated in a more didactic way or take care of the messages without confrontation, it helps iron out the rough edges that fueled the work of the Ministry of Equality this term.”
Everything that has happened around equality and feminism in the last four years has to do with Redondo’s teaching. The internal turmoil in 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 law on sexual freedom; and the division of part of the feminist movement due to, among other issues, the two previous ones; because of the controversies that have often provoked the statements of various figures in the ministry, such as until now the 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 exploits and that spreads among the younger population. A combination of factors have made the last four years the most explosive for feminism, even where there are many legislative and social developments that must have a path, progress, and consolidation.
For that reason, the Secretary of Equality of the PSOE, Andrea Fernández from León, appreciates Redondo for his “political and more calm profile; he is a social democrat from Castilla y León who will sit down to work.” Fernández knew that the name was one of the options for the top position, but he acknowledged his surprise at the appointment and also focused on his higher profile after a period in which, like many other issues, someone also attacked Irene Montero, 35 years old, because of her youth. Redondo is positioned, in a way, as a counterweight to what Montero has meant these past four years.