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Carmen Calvo

Carmen Calvo
First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
In office
7 June 2018 – 12 July 2021
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded bySoraya Sáenz de Santamaría
Succeeded byNadia Calviño
Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Democratic Memory
In office
13 January 2020 – 12 July 2021
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byHerself (Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Equality)
Succeeded byFélix Bolaños
Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Equality
In office
7 June 2018 – 13 January 2020
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded bySoraya Sáenz de Santamaría
Dolors Montserrat
Succeeded byHerself (Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Democratic Memory)
Irene Montero (Equality)
Minister of Culture
In office
18 April 2004 – 9 July 2007
Prime MinisterJosé Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Preceded byPilar del Castillo
Succeeded byCésar Antonio Molina
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
21 May 2019
ConstituencyGranada (since 2023)
Madrid (2019–2023)
In office
1 April 2004 – 27 September 2011
Member of the Parliament of Andalusia
In office
12 March 2000 – 14 March 2004
Personal details
María del Carmen Calvo Poyato

(1957-06-09) 9 June 1957 (age 66)
Cabra, Córdoba, Spain
Political partySpanish Socialist Workers Party
SpouseManuel Pérez Yruela (divorced)
  • politician
  • author

María del Carmen Calvo Poyato (born 9 June 1957) is a Spanish politician and author who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Minister of the Presidency from 2018 to 2021.

Born and raised in Cabra, Spain, she attended the University of Seville and the University of Córdoba; she holds a doctorate in constitutional law from the latter institution. She was Regional Minister of Culture of Andalusia between 1996 and 2004. She also served between 2004 and 2007 as Minister of Culture in the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. From June 2017 to October 2021, she served as Secretary of Equality of the Socialist Party. She has published several books about feminism and gender equality.

Early life and education

Calvo's primary studies were carried out at a Catholic school and her high school studies at the Aguilar and Eslava High School in the province of Córdoba. She studied law at the University of Seville and got her doctorate in constitutional law in the University of Córdoba.[1]

Calvo took a leave of absence from being professor of constitutional law at the University of Córdoba. At the university, she was Secretary General and vice-dean of the Faculty of Law between 1990 and 1994.[2] From 1992 to 1996 she was secretary of the Andalusian Interuniversity Institute of Criminology.[3]

Political career

Calvo entered politics in the 1990s, when she was appointed Counselor of the Economic and Social Council of Córdoba between 1994 and 1996. She joined the Socialist Workers' Party in 1999.[3]

Regional Minister of Culture of Andalusia

In April 1996, Calvo was appointed Minister of Culture of the Regional Government of Andalusia under the presidency of Manuel Chaves. Having joined the Socialist Workers' Party in 1999, she was elected MP for Córdoba in the Parliament of Andalusia in 2000.[3] She was in office between her appointment in 1996 until her appointment as Culture Minister of the Government of Spain.[2]

During her eight-years-term as Regional Minister of Culture, Calvo inaugurated the Museo Picasso Málaga of contemporary art in 2003, she negotiated the Andalusian Pact for the Book —a pact for supporting and promoting of reading— and she carried out important investments to reform churches, libraries and theatres —like Maestranza Theatre of Seville— as well as developing the Quality Plan for the Museums of Andalusia —which included the enlargement of the Archelogic Museum of Córdoba.

In 2004 Calvo debuted in the big screen with director José Luis García Sánchez with a short role in the movie María querida.[4][5]

Minister of Culture

Minister Calvo in the 2006 San Sebastián International Film Festival

In January 2004, she made the leap to national politics when the Secretary-General of the Socialist Workers' Party, Zapatero, created a "committee of notables" to advise him on his run to the premiership and appointed her a member of that committee.[6] In the Spanish general election in March 2004, she was elected to the Congress of Deputies, representing Córdoba.[7] She was subsequently appointed Minister of Culture in April by the new Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.[8]

As Minister of Culture, Calvo was an outspoken opponent of copyright piracy, and in 2005 her department spent around one million euros on a campaign to educate the public about the importance of intellectual property.[9] However, she was criticised by music industry officials for her statement that intellectual property is "not an absolute right".[10] Her decision to transfer documents from the General Archive of the Spanish Civil War to the Autonomous community of Catalonia was controversial.[11]

Because of the bad results of the previous year in the Spanish cinema, in 2007 Calvo presented a draft law that forces the movie theaters to shown European films (at least a 25%). This was rejected by most of the film industry and they went to strike on 18 June 2007, a strike followed by a 93% of the industry.[12] Minister Calvo was replaced in July 2007 and her successor approved this law with big modifications in late 2007.

She was one of the ministers with worst approval ratings and was replaced in July 2007 by César Antonio Molina.[13]

First Vice President of the Congress

After leaving the Ministry, Calvo was elected First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies, a position she held until the end of the congressional session.[14]

In the 2008 general election, Calvo was re-elected MP for Córdoba and was appointed Chair of the Congress Committee on Equality, as well as becoming a member of the Congress Committee on Defence and Committee on Comprehensive Disability Policies. She also presided over two subcommittees, one on abortion and other about gender violence.[15]

Calvo did not run for re-election in the 2011 general election due to her disagreement with the choice to put Rosa Aguilar at the top of the electoral list in Córdoba. She returned to her post as professor of constitutional law in the University of Córdoba.[16] She later gained the confidence of Secretary-General of the Socialist Party Pedro Sánchez and in 2017 he appointed her Secretary for Equality of the Socialist Workers' Party.[17]

Deputy Prime Minister

Deputy PM Calvo presiding a meeting about equality

On 5 June 2018 it was announced that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez would appoint Calvo as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Equality. This was the first time that the Ministry of the Presidency also took the equality portfolio.[18] She was sworn in before the King at Palace of Zarzuela on 7 June 2018.[19]

During her term, Calvo focused on gender-based violence, especially in the wake of the La Manada rape case. In this so-called "wolf pack" case in which a group of men attacked an 18 year old woman, the Provincial Court of Navarre convicted the men of sexual abuse —nine years in prison— and not for sexual assault or rape —that would mean at least 20 years. The Court's decision provoked widespread social unrest.[20][21] Calvo proposed a reform of the Criminal Code to include explicit sexual consent.[22][23][24] After appealing the sentence, the High Court of Justice of Navarre confirmed the sentence of the provincial court.[25]

In November 2018, Calvo also proposed to amend to the Constitution to exclude some words that can be considered offensive for disabled people and to create a constitutional mandate that specifically protects disabled women.[26] In October 2019, she was an outspoken proponent of exhuming the remains of Francisco Franco from Valle de los Caídos.[27]

On 13 January 2020 she was sworn in again as Deputy Prime Minister[28][29][30] and Minister of the Presidency in the Sánchez Second Cabinet, losing the Ministry of Equality in favor of Irene Montero.[31]

In June 2021, Calvo reaffirmed during an interview with La Vanguardia that the pardons of Catalonian independence politicians were near and asked the People's Party not to "confront Catalonia (because) the only alternative was normalizing relations and stop the tremendous confrontation provoked by independentism, the Spanish right and stabilize the situation".[32][33][34]

In 2022, a report was issued that claimed that President Sánchez offered Calvo the position of President of the Council of State after dismissing her as Vice President of the Government.[35]

Later career

When the Spanish parliament approved the creation of a sick leave for women suffering from incapacitating periods, becoming the first country in Europe to do so, Calvo notably was one of three PSOE lawmakers's who abstained from the vote in February 2023.[36]

Personal life

Calvo is the sister of the politician and writer José Calvo Poyato [es], former MP of the Parliament of Andalusia and former Mayor of Cabra.

At the age of 19, she married her childhood sweetheart, with whom she had a daughter at the age of 22.[37] She and her daughter share a love for rock music.[38] Subsequently, she married sociologist Manuel Pérez Yruela, former spokesperson of the Regional Government of Andalusia and researcher professor of the Institute of Social Studies of Andalusia. They divorced.[39] She has two granddaughters.[37]

On 25 March 2020, Calvo tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized with a respiratory infection[40] during the first wave of the pandemic.[41][42][43] Público announced that Calvo had recovered from the illness in May 2020.[44]

She is a fan of bullfighting.[45]

Awards and honours

  • 1998: Fiambrera de Plata, a prize awarded annually by the Athenaeum of Córdoba.[46]
  • 2007: Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III. It was granted for being a minister.[47]
  • 2008: Favorite Daughter of Cabra, an honorary title given by the City Council of Cabra. She's the first woman to have it.[48]
  • 2017: 2017 Progressive Women Award for her outstanding career as a feminist, as well as for her political and personal involvement in the fight for equality. Award given by the Spanish Federation of Progressive Women.[49]
  • 2018: Ramón Rubial Award for the defense of socialist values.[50][51]
  • 2022: 'Luisa de Medrano' International Gender Equality Award[52]


  1. ^ "El primer gobierno de Zapatero - Documentos". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Carmen Calvo". El País (in Spanish). 14 November 2011. ISSN 1134-6582. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Carmen Calvo Poyato - PSOE". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  4. ^ María querida (2004), retrieved 15 December 2018
  5. ^ "Carmen Calvo versus Rosa Aguilar: demasiado fuego para el Califato. Noticias de Andalucía". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 1 June 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  6. ^ AGENCIAS (8 January 2004). "Zapatero crea un "comité de notables" para asesorarle en su lucha por La Moncloa". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Dos ministras del PP y dos consejeras socialistas se enfrentan en las generales". El País (in Spanish). 13 March 2004. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  8. ^ Álvarez, Pilar (12 June 2018). "Deputy PM: "Surrogacy utilizes the bodies of the poorest women"". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  9. ^ El Ministerio de Cultura se gasta un millón de euros contra la piratería, Telecinco, 15 December 2005 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Carmen Calvo advierte que la propiedad intelectual "no es un derecho absoluto" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, La Vanguardia, 7 July 2006 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ "Carmen Calvo defiende el retorno de los". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  12. ^ "El 93% de las salas secunda el paro contra el anteproyecto de la ley del Cine |". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  13. ^ (6 June 2018). "Carmen Calvo vuelve a un Gobierno del PSOE, esta vez como vicepresidenta y ministra de Igualdad -". (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  14. ^ 20Minutos (11 July 2007). "Carmen Calvo, al Congreso". - Últimas Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Congress of Deputies. "Calvo Poyato, Carmen - 9th Congress of Deputies".
  16. ^ "Carmen Calvo, la política que quiere constitucionalizar la igualdad de género". La Vanguardia. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Sánchez quiere que Carmen Calvo sea secretaria de Igualdad en la Ejecutiva del PSOE". sevilla (in Spanish). 12 June 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Real Decreto 356/2018, de 6 de junio, por el que se nombra Vicepresidenta del Gobierno a doña María del Carmen Calvo Poyato". Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Los 17 del "Consejo de Ministras y Ministros" de Sánchez prometen ante el Rey". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 7 June 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  20. ^ Doria, Javier Lorente (5 December 2018). "Spanish court upholds nine-year jail sentence for 'La Manada' gang". El País. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Tens of thousands protest in Spain over gang rape acquittal". France 24. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  22. ^ Álvarez, Pilar (10 July 2018). "Spain's deputy PM proposes "yes means yes" law for sexual assault cases". El País. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  23. ^ Garza, Frida. "Spain Proposes 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Consent Law After Gang Rape of Teen". Jezebel. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  24. ^ Badcock, James (23 November 2018). "Outcry as Spanish court says rape not violent". BBC News. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  25. ^ Jones, Sam (5 December 2018). "Spanish 'Wolf Pack' verdict upheld, prompting fresh protests". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  26. ^ Sánchez-Morate, Inma (20 November 2018). "Carmen Calvo: "que nadie vuelva a llamar disminuido a una persona con discapacidad"". Cadena SER (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  27. ^ Rolfe, Pamela (14 October 2019). "Spain exhumes dictator Francisco Franco after years of bitter controversy". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Real Decreto 4/2020, de 12 de enero, por el que se nombra Vicepresidenta Primera del Gobierno a doña María del Carmen Calvo Poyato". Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). 12 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Toma de posesión de los ministros del Gobierno Sánchez Últimas noticias y reacciones, en directo". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 13 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Real Decreto 8/2020, de 12 de enero, por el que se nombran Ministros del Gobierno". Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). 12 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Carmen Calvo, vicepresidenta primera, la abanderada feminista heredera de los Omeyas". El Mundo (in Spanish). 10 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Carmen Calvo: "Los indultos están cerca y pido al PP que no se enfrente a Catalunya"" [Carmen Calvo: "The pardons are close and I ask the PP not to confront Catalonia"]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  33. ^ EFE (13 June 2021). "Carmen Calvo, sobre los indultos: "Llegarán pronto a la mesa del Consejo de Ministros"" [Carmen Calvo, on the pardons: "They will soon arrive at the table of the Council of Ministers"]. Cadena SER (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Thousands protest against Spain's possible pardons for jailed Catalan leaders". Reuters. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  35. ^ GAREA, Fernando (13 October 2022). "Pedro Sánchez ofreció a Carmen Calvo presidir el Consejo de Estado cuando dimitiera De la Vega". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  36. ^ Nicolas Camut (16 February 2023), Spain approves paid menstrual leave, first country in Europe to do so Politico Europe.
  37. ^ a b "Carmen Calvo: "Soy feminista desde que tengo uso de razón"". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 10 November 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  38. ^ "Vida nueva para Carmen Calvo". La Vanguardia. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  39. ^ 20Minutos (8 July 2007). "Carmen Calvo tiene planes de boda con su ex guardaespaldas". - Últimas Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro (23 March 2020), Spain's deputy PM Carmen Calvo hospitalized with respiratory infection Reuters.
  41. ^ "Spain's Deputy PM Carmen Calvo tests positive for coronavirus". Reuters. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  42. ^ Shields, Bevan (26 March 2020). "A massive disaster is unfolding in Spain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  43. ^ Sills, Ben; Millan Lombrana, Laura (26 March 2020). "Spanish Doctors Are Forced to Choose Who to Let Die". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  44. ^ "Álvarez de Toledo pide la dimisión de Carmen Calvo: "Su negligencia se cuenta en millones de vidas rotas"". Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  45. ^ "Carmen Calvo: "No tengo que pedir permiso ni perdón porque me gusten los toros" | Toros |". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  46. ^ "Fiambreras de Plata Año 1998 - Ateneo de Córdoba". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  47. ^ "Royal Decree 1078/2007, of July 27, which grants the Grand Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Carlos III to Mrs. Carmen Calvo Poyato". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  48. ^ Diario de Córdoba. "Carmen Calvo recibe el título de Hija Predilecta de Cabra". Diario Córdoba (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  49. ^ Tribuna Feminista. "Premios Mujeres Progresistas 2017 Tribuna Feminista". Archived from the original on 22 June 2018.
  50. ^ "Calvo afirma que la Constitución". La Vanguardia. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  51. ^ "PSE EUSKADI: Agenda: XII EDICIÓN PREMIOS RAMÓN RUBIAL". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  52. ^ Jiménez, S. (7 March 2022). "Calvo dedica el Premio 'Luisa de Medrano' a las mujeres de Ucrania que "no se doblan frente el tirano"". PeriódicoCLM | Noticias de Castilla-La Mancha - Diario Público (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 January 2024.
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Carmen Calvo
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