Mar Galceran: Breaking Barriers in Spanish Politics

Mar Galceran, a trailblazer in Spanish politics, recently etched her name in history by becoming Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome. On January 12, this remarkable achievement unfolded as Galceran was elected to Valencia’s regional assembly, marking a pivotal moment not only for her but for the broader community of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Political Journey and Advocacy: Mar Galceran’s journey into politics began at a young age, with her first foray into the political arena at just 13. She interned with the President of the Generalitat Valenciana, laying the foundation for a career dedicated to public service. Over the decades, Galcerán became a steadfast advocate for individuals with genetic conditions and intellectual disabilities.

Her commitment to the cause was further demonstrated through a four-year internship at Asindown, the Down Syndrome Association of Valencia. This hands-on experience allowed her to immerse herself in the challenges faced by individuals with Down’s syndrome and fueled her determination to address societal prejudices.

People’s Party and Political Ascent: Galceran joined the People’s Party at the age of 18, drawn to its embrace of tradition. Climbing the political ladder, she secured the 20th position on the People’s Party’s party list for the 2023 Valencian regional election in May of the previous year. Her election to Valencia’s regional assembly on September 14, 2023, was a culmination of years of dedication to her community and a testament to her resilience in the face of societal norms.

Aims and Vision: Beyond the political arena, Mar Galceran carries a broader vision — the elimination of prejudices against intellectual disabilities. In her own words, “I want people to see me as a person, not just for my disability.” This profound statement encapsulates her aspiration to redefine perceptions and pave the way for inclusivity and equality in Spanish society.

Global Context and Other Pioneers: While Mar Galceran is celebrated as Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome, it’s essential to acknowledge other trailblazers globally. Eleonore Laloux, a city council member in Arras, France, made history in 2021 as the first person with Down syndrome to be elected to public office.

Spain had witnessed a similar milestone in 2013 when Ángela Bachiller, a woman with Down syndrome, became the country’s city councillor in Valladolid. This marked a significant step towards inclusivity in Spanish politics.

Bryan Russell’s Campaign in Peru: In Peru, Bryan Russell, a 27-year-old man with Down syndrome, ran for parliament in 2019. His campaign aimed to challenge societal norms and showcase the independence and capabilities of individuals with Down syndrome. Russell’s endeavor echoed the global sentiment of breaking paradigms and fostering a more inclusive society.

Mar Galceran’s historic achievement adds another chapter to the ongoing narrative of inclusivity, diversity, and breaking barriers. As she continues to serve in Valencia’s regional assembly, her story inspires a broader conversation about recognizing the capabilities and contributions of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the realm of politics and beyond.

Also Read

Gabriel Attal

Who is Gabriel Attal: France’s Youngest PM

Leave a comment