Since 1974,Maria Garcia has been blazing a trail in Spain. She is slowly changing traditional cultural and social perceptions about single motherhood. This was by no means an easy task. There is no doubt at all, that she has succeeded in breaking a number of gender stereotypes. Her organisation, the Fundación de Familias Monoparentales Isadora Duncan [Isadora Duncan Foundation for single parents], exists today because of her unswerving determination. She found out the hard way, personally, how isolating an experience it can be: young, pregnant, then a single mother. She saw how the state did not recognise the needs of these people, namely herself. She felt how society shunned her for her actions, and vilified her, in her home town of León. She set about changing these two barriers to single parents being accepted equally in society – and succeeded.
One of the links below conveys the tremendous amount of achievements undertaken by Maria Garcia, and her foundation over the years. But here are some of the most significant milestones reached by her and her team. First of all, she has succeeded in bringing awareness of single parents as a group in its own right. She has also raised awareness that there is currently a gap in social and tax policy for single parents. So, in 2006 she launched a national campaign to demand a concrete law for one-parent families. In response, the Consejo Estatal de Familias [State Board of Families], invited her as a member representing one parent families. This is a consultative Inter-ministerial Body for National Family Policy.
For years,Maria Garcia has networked tirelessly with government, various media, civil society, and academia, on raising awareness on single families. In 2004, her organisation was granted Foundation-level status. In 2008, she was invited to become a Board Member of the Consejo Regional de Familias - in Castilla and León. This is a Regional Advisory Body for Family Policy, and Maria Garcia’s home town. The Foundation provides accommodations, training and education workshops, and a community centre for single parents. It has recently applied to obtain consultative status at the Economic Social Council of the UN. Maria Garcia and the Foundation have become a national reference point for single parents in Spain.