Adeje takes the reins of the Tenerife South Equality network

The Adeje council is taking on the administration of the Tenerife South Equality network – this is a rotating administration between the participating councils of Vilaflor de Chasna (from which Adeje takes over), Santiago del Teide, Arico, Arona, Fasnia, Granadilla de Abona, San Miguel de Abona, Guía de Isora and Adeje. Adeje will continue the on-going projects the network are currently involved in which are developed to assist the residents of South Tenerife as well as to promote the policies of equality in this part of the island.

Created in 2011, the Tenerife South Equality network arose out of a shared dialogue looking at the positive need for mutual training, orientation and exchange of experiences and good practise in equality-based material and events among member boroughs. The network now works to reflect, with one voice, the needs of the wider community regarding equality.

At the recent meeting of the technical staff handing over the secretarial responsibilities, there was a look at current issues and up and coming matters, projects in the pipeline for this year, including a push for better participation from all the member councils, as well as at regional and insular levels.

Training is seen as a fundamental issue this year, and the nine councils will also be working closely with the teams assigned to deal with children and families as well as the Social Services unit assigned to deal with gender violence.

Last year, among other projects, the network published a guide to good practise for councils in preparing local events and fiestas, “La Igualdad, TU FIESTA”, took part in different forums and facilitated training days in different boroughs. The work of the networks is, in essence, to promote and advance equality between women and men in the path to a fairer balanced society.



Department of Communications







Levelling the playing pitch!


The II Adeje Equality Course sees a doubling in membership

The II Adeje School for Equality began courses yesterday with almost twice as many participants as expected. The town’s Equality council and the council itself are the organisers of the school, and had planned for 20 students but almost 50 signed up to take part.

The councillor for equality, Carmen Lucia Rodríguez del Toro, said she was “more than pleasantly surprised to see how the numbers of those signing up to take part had more than doubled. It makes me proud to see the response of our residents who, as well as working towards the advancement of equality, are increasingly aware of the importance of equality training to further ensure the application of equality measures in work and life in general”.

The school will be in session every Wednesday until April 24th, from 5.30pm – 9pm. “We know that these hours may not suit everyone, and therefore are really appreciative of those making the effort to be part of this course”, the councillor added.

The training is given by an association known as ‘Desarrollo Integral de la Mujeres Mercedes Machado’, using participative methodology, with 56 hours of classwork and 12 hours of practical application. The classes work to deconstruct sexist behaviour, language, etc, and help in the perception and acknowledgement of gender inequalities. Participants can learn how to improve group dynamics, improve auto esteem and work to recognise the impact of gender in terms of perception, values, attitudes and behaviour.

The training is in four blocks, looking at various aspects of behaviour, education, co-education, cultural products, and non-sexist communication. Equality in work and employment practises and household chores and child care will also be discussed. The classes will examine the issue of gender violence and identify keys for self-esteem for women among other matters.










What’s in a name?

Luther King project aims to change street names in Adeje

A delegation of students from Luther King College paid a visit to the Adeje council offices recently to ask for something a bit different- they want to council to change a few street names.

The students from Luther King recently carried out a study of street names in Adeje, Arona, Granadilla, San Miguel and Vilaflor, and with the results they are following the lead set in Malaga under the hashtag, #merezcounaacalle (she deserves a street), the aim being to give more leading women the recognition they deserve by naming more streets after them.

The results of their study in Adeje shows that in the borough there are 38 streets named after men, and only 8 named after women. The students, who met with councillors Ermitas Moreira García, Carmen Lucía Rodríguez and Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, presented a petition asking that the council consider naming an Adeje street after Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a British astronomer who discovered pulsars, the cosmic sources of peculiar radio pulses. The students have also said they will forward a list of other possible candidates for street, plaza or avenue names.

The councillors who met with the students, currently in the second year of high school, and some of whom are from Adeje, were impressed with the work done. “Adeje is a borough in growth and given the results of the study you have carried out we can now take this into consideration and look at naming places after women who have contributed in some way to Adeje society, women who have been recognised and awarded the town’s Abinque prize”, they said. The Abinque prize has been awarded every year, for the last 15 years, to a woman or group of women, who have contributed to Adeje’s growth as an equal opportunities borough.

The students expressed interest in the ways in which Adeje is contributing to the evolution of real equality as the local councillor for equality outlined the work of the council in this regard, the in-house training and education, the treatment of diversity issues and working to insist on inclusive language in official communications and relations with the public.

The students also heard details of the work with the borough’ s schools as well as across all the council departments, the workshops to empower women and stamp out inequality and break down borders and obstacles to effective and real advancement, and the move ahead to ensure the integration of women in all aspects of society.
Department of Communications







Open call for women artists


Adeje invites women in art to take part in the VI collective for International Women’s Day

For the 6th consecutive year the art collective “Creative Adeje Women”, founded and organised by the Adeje council through the department of equality (under councillor Carmen Lucía Rodríguez del Toro), and designed to emphasise the importance of women in the art world, is inviting submissions for this year’s exhibition.

“Historically the role of women in the art world, as in many others, was ignored or undervalued”, says Rodríguez del Toro. “During the evolution of our society too often the contribution of women has been set aside to the detriment of equality. Few women in the art world have been given the recognition they deserve, so the Adeje council is continuing to offer a platform, through this collective, which has become a showcase for many local artists. Since its inception the exhibitions have been very well received the public and are one of the most visited every year”, she added.

Participation is open to female artists (professional and amateur) based in the Canaries who would like to present a work for exhibition. It can be from any discipline (photography, painting, sculpture, graphic design, recording, etc.) and must not be bigger than 1.20cm. The exhibition, in the Adeje Cultural Centre, will coincide with International Women’s Day, on March 8th, and open to the public from 7pm.

More information on the Adeje webpage, in the ‘Igualdad’ section, where you will also find the application form which can be filled in and sent to Final entries will be chosen based on quality, technical standards and originality.

Other events to mark International Women’s day will include a performance of Esmeralda by the Helena Turbo Theatre group on the same evening, at 8.30pm, and the awarding of the annual Adeje prize for a woman/women who have contributed to the borough in a particular way, the Abinque, which takes place on March 11th.


Adeje against FGM

its a girl bigger
“FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women”, according to the UN, adding that it constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, affecting those from 29 African countries, the Middle East and the female immigrant population in the Europe, North American, Australia and New Zealand.

The World Health Organisation says “Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

The two above organisations and others have also confirmed that the practise is almost always carried out on under-age girls and constitutes a violation of the rights of the child.

For these reasons the Adeje council will, this week, begin the distribution of the Female Genital Mutilation Handbook: Best Practices handbook published by the Spanish Confederation of Women on Equality via the borough’s libraries, education centres, health centres and in some municipal centres. The books are available in English, Spanish and French to ensure that the information reaches as many people as possible.

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“In building a society based on equality we have to eradicate these kind of practises that discriminate against women; we cannot allow or assist or ignore the existence of these procedures that mutilate, not just women’s bodies, but their identity, their rights…” said the Adeje councillor for equality Carmen Lucía Rodríguez el Toro.

“With this initiative we are distributing a document that will explain why this procedure needs to be eradicated completely, and the devastating consequences that children and women are forced to endure”.

The handbook has been co-financed by the national departments of employment, social security, and the secretary general for immigration and emigration as well as the European Union. The book details the historical background to the practise, how it is carried out and by who and the consequences – physical, gynaecological, sexual and psychological, suffered by the victims. The book also examines the judicial situation in Spain (for instance parents who take children to another country for the procedure can be arrested/jailed upon returning to Spain with loss of guardianship of the child) and Europe as well as the different actions that can be taken towards the eradication of the practise.

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Department of Communications

Tenerife Sur Prism network



The objective of the network is to improve the quality of life and guarantee equality and free choice of lifestyle and sexual identity for all

Today, June 28th, the councils of Adeje, Arona, Arico, Granadilla de Abona, Fasnia, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona, Santiago del Teide and Vilaflor, launched a new working collective tool to work together to improve the quality of life and guarantee equality and respect and the freedom of sexual identity to all the residents of South Tenerife.

The South Tenerife Prism network underlines the commitment from the participating councils and regional bodies to improve local actions regarding equality, and looks to optimise resources promoting the interests of the network with regard to other institutions, and implementing shared objectives and actions. Reflecting the logo of the group, the nine boroughs are represented by the nine points forming the triangular part of the prism with the colours of the rainbow, the international symbol of the LGTBIQ community, on the other side, promoting visibility, diversity, identity.

The Prism will operate at two parallel levels, one with political representation from the nine boroughs, councillors who will commit themselves to work for the promotion of policies reflecting equality and non-discrimination. On the other level are the technical personnel working to implement policies.

The main objectives of the group are to promote transversal integration from standpoints of equality and non-discrimination including in the design and implementation of policies locally in South Tenerife. Awareness-raising in the boroughs of the right of every individual to their chosen gender identity is also part of the action plan.

The Prism network will create a dialogue for mutual assessment, training, and orientation and experience exchanges among member boroughs. There will also be work with relevant bodies and institutions at regional and other levels, sharing of resources and materials, etc. Among the first actions the new network will undertake will be the specialised training of the political and technical personnel who will be working on the project as well as the presentation of a list of good practises, currently being drawn up. 10 practical ways to allow our councils oversee the correct incorporation of policies that support gender and sexual diversity in all departments.

“This initiative is reflective of the desire of the participating boroughs to push for policies which guarantee the rights and freedoms of lesbians, gays, transgender persons, bisexuals, intersexuals and those who describe themselves as queer in South Tenerife. We strongly believe working in this field is very relevant within the development of local politics that favour the visibility of this community, prevent discrimination and promote the respect of identity and sexual diversity. With concrete actions we will be building a society that, daily, is more plural, equal and respectful”, said Carmen Lucía Rodríguez del Toro, Adeje councillor for disability and politics of equality, speaking on behalf of the group.

Also present at the presentation of the new group were councillors Montserrat González Hernández, Vilaflor, Noelia Beatriz González Navarro, Santiago del Teide; Samuel de León Páez, San Miguel de Abona; Ángeles González Rodríguez, Guía de Isora; Oscar Delgado Melo, Granadilla de Abona; María del Carmen Marrero Rodríguez, Fasnia; David Pérez González, Arona and Dácil Cano García, Arico.

Communications Department, Adeje

Transnationalism, Gender and Migration


Adeje will host a bi-lingual conference on migration and gender on November 13th and 14th

The importance of migration on our lives and the affect emigration and immigration can have on families, in particular women in those families, will be some of the themes discussed as what promises to be a fascinating two-day international conference on ‘Transmationalism, Gender and Migration”, in the Adeje CDTCA (Centre for Tourism Development,Costa Adeje) on November 13th and 14th.

Announcing details of the event today deputy mayor of Adeje Ermitas Moreira said that a conference of this nature was very relevant for the people of Adeje and particularly apt given the council’s Convivencia/Co-existence campaign, “and when the suggestion came from the department of equality and the body representing all the equality councillors in South Tenerife for this ambitious project we were delighted to be able to help”.

Representing the University of La Laguna, vice-rector Rodríguez Trujillo said that here in Tenerife we are witnessing transnationalism and a diversity of nationalities every day, “in our education and health centres, in our local administration” adding that here was probably one of the few places where such a level of cultural diversity exists. He said it was important to focus on the reality of women when talking about migration. Referencing a recent study on the best and worst places in the world for women to live (Canada and India respectively) Rodríguez Trujillo said in Spain we also needed to look and learn from other cultures and consider adapting good practises in certain areas, in access to higher education for instance. “People might say, no, there is equal opportunity here in Spain but the data shows that this is not the case”, he said.

The director of the conference, María José Guerra Palmera outlined the focus of the conference and spoke of the changing face of migration. “No longer are we talking about countries people emigrate from and immigrate to…there is more of a migratory circuit. A Canarian nurse goes to work in the United Kingdom, nurses from the UK have gone to work in the United States, etc”. She added that the new social media and cheaper travel has also changed very much the face of immigration today. “With the different media of communication people live in two or three different realities” she pointed out.

Migration and social mobility are also very much linked and can affect women in particular. Often with whole families migrating, if the male in the family is working the role of the women in the new environment is changing. There is much that needs to be examined and the changing role of women in boom and bust times and their levels of social participation also considered.

All in all this should be a fascinating two day event. Two of the main speakers are Genoveva Roldán, co-director of the event and from the Institute of Economic Investigation in the University of Mexico, Stella González-Arnal from the University of Hull, and the working language will be in English and Spanish. The event is funded by the Projecto 1+D Justicia, ciudadanía y género, government of Spain.


Adeje Marks International Women’s Day

equality councillor desiderio, brigitte, alcalde

Last weekend the Adeje Council presented the XI Abinque prize to Brigitte Gypen in recognition of her work as founder and organiser of The Walk for Life/Carrera por la Vida

Last weekend the Adeje Council marked International Women’s Day with a number of different events, including the awarding of the Abinque Prize which went to Walk for Life organiser Brigitte Gypen. The award was made at a special gala dinner in the presence of 250 people.

The Mayor of Adeje José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, congratulated the winner and paid tribute to her work over the years which have had such a positive affect on the local population. He said “to continue the march towards a society that is equal it is important to recognise the work of people who contribute to the betterment of our society. In the case of Brigitte Gypen we have a woman who is a defender of humanitarian work, and who helps women suffering from breast cancer and their families.”

Rodríguez Fraga continues, “we celebrate International Women’s Day, and we too, the men among us, must also be involved in this initiative because in the fight for equality everyone, men and women alike, have to put their shoulder to the wheel”. The mayor of Adeje also congratulated the work of the department of Equality and councillor, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz.

For her part Brigitte Gypen said she was “delighted with prize which was, she said, an incentive to continue the work and the fight against breast cancer. This project was born out of a desire to help all those who have this disease..we want to ensure that they don’t feel alone in their fight.”

She added, “our main aim is to continue to increase early detection, encourage improved investigation, raise awareness among the general population that this disease knows no class, creed or colour boundaries and of course all the help we get is welcome”. She ended her acceptance speech by reminding people that this year will be the tenth Walk for Life and said they were preparing a very special event indeed.

The Adeje School of Music were also involved in this year’s ceremony, as one of their students, the young singer Luke Towler, surprised Brigitte Gypen with a live rendition of Walk for Life, the song he wrote that is now the anthem of the movement, much to the delight of the award winner, Luke’s mother Julie who was at the gala dinner and is herself a breast cancer survivor, and the audience in general. There was also an audio-visual presentation early in the evening which paid tribute to the work of Brigitte and all the individuals and organisations who have helped the Walk for Life become the event it is today.

Mujeres Adeje Creativa
There were other events taking place to mark International Women’s Day, one of which was the “Mujeres Adeje Creativa” collective, which brought together over one hundred female artists who came from all over the island – La Orotava, Santa Cruz, La Laguna, Granadilla, San Miguel, Santiago del Teide, Arona, Guía de Isora and of course Adeje. Students from the Adeje art courses organised annually by the Adeje People’s University also took part as well as students from the Los Olivos occupational centre.

The exhibition, on show in the Adeje cultural centre until March 26th, displays works in a number of disciples, painting, sculpture, wood, materials, crafts, photography, etc. The centre is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm and entry to the exhibition is free.

The centre also hosted a talk on ‘Women in art by women’ given by art historian Elisa Falcón Lisón, looking at the central place of women in art over the different periods.

walk for life volunteers at the dinner brigitte and luke towler brigitte

Bigger and Better


The Adeje department of equality has developed a programme of training activities to increase awareness and also have some fun celebrating and promoting equality during the month of March

Adeje Equality councillor Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz has announced a series of events that will take place around the March 8th celebration of International Women’s Day, under the title “Más y Mejor” (Bigger and Better). The activities during March will concentrate on awareness raising as well as a number of recreational events to celebrate equality.

The councillor says “there is a concrete wish to show a united front in the defence of women’s rights and we have taken on board this campaign developed by the Canarian Equality Institute, joining forces with them to make sure the message reaches all corners of our society. This year we are emphasising the sensitive nature of the situation of women discriminated against in the work place and economically and at the same time we are underlining the importance of equal participation by both sexes in this regard and for the better development of our society.”

Juan Desiderio explained that “March 8th, International Women’s Day, is a commemoration that was initiated with the aim of denouncing specific situations where discrimination exists against women, recognising their contribution to the advancement of society and using all the tools necessary to promote and achieve real and effective equality between the sexes”.

The events taking place (the full programme is available online,, fall into two basic categories – recreational and awareness raising/development. During the month of February a number IT workshops for women have been ongoing, with another planned for this month if there is a demand. On March 13th, 20th and 27th a series of talks on empowering women will also take place – registration with the department is essential, but free. The course, in Spanish, is given by Patricia G. Ojeda, a sociologist and expert in equal opportunities.

On March 7th there is a conference on women and art, led by Elisa Falcón Lisón, at 6pm in the Adeje Cultural Centre. This will be followed by the inauguration of the III Art Collective exhibition by “Mujeres Adeje-creativa” with the collaboration of the Adeje School of Music and Dance. On March 26th the students studying for their professional certificate in restaurant and kitchen operation will present a gastronomy tasting.

On Saturday March 8th, International Women’s Day itself, there will be a Gala dinner celebrating the event held in the CDTCA, the Centre for the Development of Tourism, Costa Adeje. During the evening Adeje Council will present the annual Abinque award to Brigitte Gypen, the founder and organiser of the Walk for Life, the breast cancer event. Tickets for the dinner can be bought through the Department of Equality.

Check Sexism

adeje-jaque al sexismo

The Adeje councillor for equality, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, has launched a new campaign called “Jaque al Sexismo” or “Check Sexism”. The aim of this initiative is to increase awareness of sexism among the population and work to prevent sexual discrimination and promote equal opportunities.
Afonso Ruiz says, “we want to up the awareness levels to make people aware of how limiting sexism can be for those affected”. Those, he adds, who use sexual discrimination are attempting to halt the development of others and therefore their growth as individuals.
The councillor feels that “a vital tool for the healthy growth of equality is the eradication of sexism in our society and the construction of the kind of world we want to live in, and of course stamp out domestic violence too. To achieve this it is important to include the fight against sexual discrimination”.
Sexism refers to all those practises and attitudes that promote different forms of treatment of individuals depending on their sexual orientation and which assumes characteristics and traditional behaviour patterns from men and women. To eliminate them they must first be identified in different situations.
For that reason the Adeje department of equality is organising a series of monthly activities including workshops, exhibitions and debates with will try to look at the nature of this phenomeon, the many and complex causes, and the contexts and levels at which it occurs.
The sessions will be designed with the help of expert Patricia G. Ojeda, who, through Radio Sur Adeje, will frame a series of alternative proposals (non sexist, non violent), at all levels that discrimination appears today (within relationships, with other people, language, media, etc)., The radio has been chosen as a tool for getting the message out there as it is a borough communications tool, and those who cannot listen directly will also be able to find the programmes online.
There will also be actual workshops and talks, and social networks will also play an important part in the campaign says the councillor in charge. The Check Sexism campaign will have an active Facebook page, and while people are more than welcome to participate, those who comment will be asked to be aware of the language they use when doing so!
Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz reminds people that sexual discrimination affects men as well as women, although there are many more cases against women given old cultural beliefs and habits “when women were considered inferior to men”. Sexism is present in different creeds and attitudes, but must be stopped as soon as possible, he adds. “The belief that one sex is superior or inferior to another is sexist as is misogyny (hatred of women) or misandry (hatred of men)”.

He concludes “we must get to the point where the traditional imposed notions of masculine macho men and feminine delicate women are eliminated”.