May 26 2015
Dear UN Women,
I write you from Spain. I have decided to send you this letter in order to share with you the situation mothers have in Spain, due to the Spanish Law of divorce. As you may know, Mrs. Ángela González won a court process last July, against the Spanish State because of the discrimination of this law against women, which resulted in the death of her seven year old child. This brave woman talked in the United Nations about the lack of protection women have, as a result of their motherhood, the permissiveness of gender violence in the Spanish society in many of the persons involved in the process, from policemen, to judges, to psychologist, the lack of consideration of children and teenagers´ feelings, values, desires and will, in the Family Court processes, which forces them against their will to see or live with their father even if they are afraid, or cry, or scape. This is somehow consecuence of the stereotype accepted by the great majority of the Spanish society that a man that abuses verbally, psychologically or physically of the mother of his children is not necessarily a bad father. I have the opposite point of view. From the very moment there is abuse, that man cannot be a good father, as he passes on to his children patterns of intolerance, lack of respect and violence. It is so socially accepted for men to abuse women that only the 3% of these women´s children are free from the legal imposition of having a relationship with their father even if it is against their will. As the women that go to the police are only the iceberg edge, the total number of women, living under these painful conditions is incredibly high. The situation is that no matter the reason these children give, values, fear, having witnessed or suffered violence, most of the social workers, the psychologist, the judges assume that the best situation is that a child has a good relationship with both parents, and therefore these children are forced to have a relationship or to live with whom they fear or hate and the system through unimaginable paths far beyond common sense force them and their mothers to do so. And, if their mothers try to protect them they can end in prison. In addition, motherhood takes women to be dependent on men from the financial point of view, which is a kind of covered slavery and with the years they become very vulnerable.
I know there is an endless list of priorities throughout the world that are before these Spanish mothers, however, I invite you to explore this thread of discrimination, as I feel that the European country which offers the biggest protection to women in their maternity would be a point of reference for the rest of the countries in the world. I have the intuition that motherhood is a social challenge throughout the world no matter what the country´s per capita income is and I am sure that behind the vulnerability women have when they are mothers, lies gender violence. Behind gender violence is the patriarchal society that gives men the right to control women by having rights over their children. This forces women throughout the world to suffer abuses in order to protect their children. Motherhood Protection would empower women throughout the world, and set them free. I wonder if UN Women has already done a research project about women´s motherhood protection system.
Please take into consideration there are many mothers and their children that far from being free of violence after divorce, live for years a post-violence persecution from men who use justice as a weapon of violence.
With the hope of a better world,
Por una maternidad protegida.