Tuesday. 20.02.2024

Thousands of people attended a demonstration calling for a ban on prostitution in Spain on Saturday.

The protesters, mostly women, marched down Madrid's Gran Vía shopping street, with many carrying posters and placards. Some read, "We women are not commodities," or "Prostitution is not a job." Many chanted "stop sexual exploitation!"

The protest was organized by 175 groups and drew some 7,000 people, police said.

The rally came after Spain's parliament approved a bill to tighten the criminal law on sexual offences on Thursday. As well as requiring consent from all involved in sexual acts, it also provides for a ban on advertising prostitution.

The activists were calling for further steps from the bill, which still needs to be approved by the Senate.

Problem 'unsolved'

"The government's measures are a patch-up job that does not solve the basic problem," Laura Rivas, spokesperson for the Feminist Movement Madrid, was quoted as saying by El País newspaper.

What is needed is a "comprehensive response that leads to the abolition of prostitution," she said.

Another marcher at the rally who gave her name as Pilar told Europa Press news agency: "Prostitution is the slavery of the 21st century."

Thousands protest against prostitution in Spain