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María Teresa Fernández de la Vega,

Vice-President and Minister of the Presidency.

 

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega is the first woman to occupy the Vice-Presidency of Spain, a post she combines at the head of the President's Ministry.

She was born in 1949 in Valencia and holds a first class Degree in Law which she obtained at the Complutense University of Madrid and a Doctorate which she studied at Barcelona University. She also studied European Community Law in the University of Strasburg, where she specialised in Human Rights and International Judicial Cooperation in the European Council.

She started her judicial career from the bottom as a legal secretary, and worked her way up the system to become one of the first women judges to earn a place in the "Justicia Democrática" movement, a group of judges who were very influencial during Spain's transition to democracy. She served in the Ministry of Justice in the 1980s and in 1989 she became a magistrate, obtaining the highest qualification out of all the successful candidates.

She was appointed Secretary of State for Justice in 1994 in the last Felipe Gonzalez Government and was elected to parliament as an MP for the PSOE party in 1996 and 2000. During this period, Fernández de la Vega was appointed General Secretary of the Parliamentary Socialist Group.

María Teresa Fernández is single.

María Teresa Fernández is known for her extraordinary capacity for work and organisation and for her dedication to the cause of women's rights. She participated actively in the campaign to reform the abortion law in Spain, and she was one of the main forces behind the first steering comittee of Spain's Womens Institute in charge of elaborating in the 80s the first ever Plan for Equal Opportunities for Women.

She is also associate professor at Barcelona Central University and Madrid Complutense Universities, and tutor at the UNED (Spain's version of the Open University).

 

 
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