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Spanish women mayors

Some 40% of Spain’s city mayors are women

Brian Baker and Daniel Gonzáles Herrera

Spanish women mayors

December 2023: Spanish local government is considered the tier closest to citizens. It is most directly concerned with the daily life of people. Spain is divided into Municipalities (Municipios), except for the Royal Bardenas, in Navarre, a territory declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The governance of the municipalities belongs to the City Council. It is a collegiate organ that leads the municipal administration. The City Council is made up of Councillors, elected by popular vote. The number of councillors may vary according to the number of residents, from five to 25.

The president of the city council is the mayor, who is elected by and from the councillors. Mayors organise, suspend and lead the sessions and debates of the plenary and of other municipal organs. They are also the highest representative authority of the municipality and are responsible for its government and administration. Nevertheless, if the City Council in plenary is of the view that they are not addressing their functions properly, they can be removed through a "constructive vote of censure": this means that with the vote the meeting must also propose a new candidate, to avoid a power vacuum.

Spain has one of the highest proportions of female mayors in Europe. Of the 41 cities with more than 150,000 residents, 16 (39%) have women as mayors. In comparison, only 12.5% (10 in total) of Germany’s 80 Grossstädte (cities with populations of above 100,000) are run by women mayors. In England, five (21%) of the nation's 24 elected mayors are women.

Political parties in Spain

People’s Party (PP) conservative

Socialist Party (SPOE) centre-left

VOX, right-wing

Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC)

Spanish Party of European Socialists (PSE)

Communist Party (PCPE)

Communist Party of the Canaries (PCC)

Navarrese People’s Union (UPN) regional conservative party

Female mayors of Spain's large cities


Popl: 790,000

Maria Jose Catala, Mayor since 2023

Party: PP


Popl: 681,000

Natalia Chueca, Mayor since 2023

Party: PP

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Popl: 380,000

Carolina Darias, Mayor since 2023

Party: PSOE


Popl: 269,000

Carmen Moriyon, Mayor since 2023

L’Hospitalet de Lobregat

Popl: 265,000

Núria Marín Martínez, Mayor since 2008

Party: PSC

Vitoria Gasteiz

Popl: 253,000

Maider Etxebarria, Mayor since 2023

Party: PSE

La Coruña

Popl: 246,000

Ines Rey Garcia, Mayor since 2019

Party: PSOE


Popl: 233,000

Marifran Carazo, Mayor since 2023

Party: PP


Popl: 217,000

Marta Farres, Mayor since 2019

Party: PCC


Popl: 216,000

Noelia Maria Arroyo Hernandez, Mayor since 2021

Party: PSOE

Jerez de la Frontera

Popl: 213,000

Maria Jose Garcia-Pelayo Jurado, Mayor since 2023

Party: PP


Popl: 201,000

Maria del Mar Vasquez Aquero, Mayor since 2022

Alcala de Henares

Popl: 196,000

Judit Piquet Flores, Mayor since 2023

Party: PP


Popl: 184,000

Sara Hernandez Barroso, Mayor since 2015

Party: PSOE

Castellon de la Plana

Popl: 173,000

Begona Carrasco Garcia, Mayor since 2023


Popl: 172,000

Gema Igual Ortiz, Mayor since 2016

Party: PP

*The research was carried out in October 2023.


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