Meet Mar Galcerán, Spain’s first Parliamentarian with Down’s Syndrome

NEW DELHI: Mar Galcerán has etched her name in Spain’s political history as the first parliamentarian with Down syndrome. Elected to Valencia’s regional assembly, the 45-year-old is determined to be recognized for her capabilities rather than defined by her disability.
Galcerán’s journey towards this groundbreaking achievement spans decades, marked by advocacy for the inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in public discourse.
According to the Guardian, the turning point in Galcerán’s political career traces back to her decision at the age of 18 to join the conservative People’s Party (PP), attracted by its commitment to tradition. Over the years, she steadily climbed the party ranks, culminating in her inclusion as the 20th candidate in the PP’s list for Valencia’s regional elections last May.
This achievement places Galcerán among a select few individuals with Down syndrome to enter the realm of politics. In 2020, Éléonore Laloux became the first person with the genetic disorder in France to be elected as a city council member, while Fintan Bray made history in Ireland in 2022.
In Spain, Galcerán follows in the footsteps of Ángela Bachiller, who, in 2013, became the country’s first city councillor with Down syndrome in Valladolid.
Galcerán envisions her presence in the regional parliament as a catalyst for breaking down prevailing prejudices in society, particularly those surrounding individuals with Down syndrome.
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