Mar Galcerán is Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome

Mar Galcerán is Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome

Mar Galcerán

Mar Galcerán recently made history in Spain, becoming the country’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome.

According to a report from The Guardian, Galcerán has long held political ambitions. She joined the conservative People’s Party when she was 18 years old, and worked her way up the ranks of the party. 

In May 2023, she was added to a list of candidates for the PP ahead of Valencias regional elections. Shortly after, she obtained a seat in the regional parliament. Galcerán was sworn into her position as a regional parliamentarian in September 2023.

Galcerán’s success in politics and her position as the only person with Down syndrome in a Spanish parliament is a significant moment for representation of people with Down syndrome within Spain, Europe and globally. It is also thought that Galcerán is the first person with Down syndrome to be a member of regional or national parliament in Europe.

“Society is starting to see that people with Down’s syndrome have a lot to contribute. But it’s a very long road,” she told The Guardian.

Galcerán has spent more than two decades working as a civil servant, with a focus on policy relating to improving inclusion for those with intellectual disabilities. She has also worked at Asindown, an organisation supporting children with Down syndrome. 

Galcerán’s role as a parliamentarian follows the efforts of Ángela Bachiller, a woman with Down syndrome who became Spain’s first city councillor in Valladolid in 2013. Bachiller has been a trailblazer in local politics. 

According to Down Syndrome Australia, Down syndrome is the most common genetic disability. There are approximately 13,000 people in Australia who have Down syndrome and the birth rate for Down syndrome is one in every 1,100 births.


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