Montero’s statements on “the right of children to have sex with whoever they want”: what he said and what he did not do and what was the context of the intervention


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It went viral Twitter video of the intervention of the Minister of Equality Irene Montero in The Equality Committee of the Congress of Deputies on Wednesday 21 September, in which he spoke of sex education as “a right for all boys and girls.” Montero’s statements led to a claim his resignation and even his reception in prisonbut the video has been shared on the networks is a fragment of a larger appearance that is cropped and broadcast out of context.

Twitter screenshot.

Irene Montero’s video was cut: before she talked about “16 and 17-year-old girls”

In the video that has been doing the rounds, the Equality boss says the following: “Talking about sex education is the right of boys and girls, regardless of their family. All boys and girls in this country have the right to know their own body, to know that no adult can touch their body if they don’t want it and that this is a form of violence. They have a right to know that they can love or have sex with whomever they want, based on, yes, consent. These are rights which are recognized and which you do not like”.

The clip in question is part of Montero’s answer (1:54:13 to 1:59:30) to Lourdes Mendesa Vox spokesperson at the same committee, which omitted the previous seconds in which the minister spoke of women’s sexual and reproductive rights as a “measure of democracy” and the following seconds in which specifies that it refers to “16 and 17-year-old girls”which he had previously mentioned in the same intervention.

This is the first part of Irene Montero’s response to the Vox MP:

“Guaranteeing women the opportunity to decide their own bodies is a basic measure of democracy. Precisely because when societies want to reduce democracy, when societies want to limit the rights of more than half of the population that we are women, the first thing they do is reduce or prohibit the exercise of our sexual and reproductive rights. Because if a woman cannot decide on her own body, she is not deciding on her own life project. They decide for her and this limits the exercise of many other rights. The exercise of sexual and reproductive rights, not only the voluntary termination of pregnancy, that is why this new law is a sexual and reproductive rights law not only to ensure effective access to voluntary termination of pregnancy, but also to talk about sexuality education, for example , which is right” .

The Equality Minister then delivered the words of 00:35 second fragment broadcast on the networks, which is followed by the following intervention:

Frankly admit it. You don’t like rights. You like other models of societies that are not based on rights that are based on authoritarianism. Very well they are explaining it to us all and let’s see if they will vote for them, but clearly what you are proposing because I didn’t understand anything from your statement, except that you think it is very wrong for women to decide on their own bodies.

The 16- and 17-year-old girls, most of them talk to their families, they talk to their friends, they talk to all the people they want, sometimes to their teachers, to trusted adults around them and for them. And they do it before making a decision, which for some will be difficult, for others not. Most of the 16 and 17-year-old girls who are faced with a voluntary termination of pregnancy decide to talk to their parents, their mothers, their relatives, their friends, their teachers. But you know what? There are 16 and 17-year-old women who are sexually abused even within their own families, who are then the ones who force them to continue with this unwanted pregnancy. I believe that the state should tell all women, including those 16 and 17 years old, that it believes in their decision, that it respects their decision and provides all the mechanisms for them to exercise their sexual and sexual rights. breeders in the public network. What is your proposal? That they go to illegal clinics to risk their lives? What a way to protect life”.

In addition, the Ministry of Equality has assured damn it that Montero meant boys and girls aged 16 and 17, not “all children”. Equality also explains to us that the minister’s aim was to influence “the importance of knowing how to identify sexual abuse, which often occurs in the family environment or with adults they fully trust, so that no one can touch them without your consent.”

The age of sexual consent in Spain

The Directive 2011/93/EU on “the fight against sexual violence and sexual exploitation of minors and child pornography” defines “age of sexual consent” as “the age below which, in accordance with national law, sexual acts with minors are prohibited” (Article 2b).

In Spain, the legal age of consent for sexual relations is 16, as stated in Art. 183 of the Criminal Code.

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