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Pilar Lima: First Deaf Senator in Spain and Sixth in Europe

Pilar Lima, who is Graduate in Social Work and Sign Language teacher, presented as a candidate for the Podemos Citizen Board in Valencia in 2014 and at the beginning of July 2015 received almost 35% of the votes during the consultation carried out by Podemos (Spanish political party) in the Valencian Community. On 22 July of the same year, Pilar became the first Deaf senator in Spain and the sixth in Europe.

Pilar Lima (photo: Levante-emv)

"Guaranteeing social rights, promoting participation initiatives and protecting vulnerable groups" will be her main objectives, Pilar said. In the following video we can see her candidacy to the Citizen Board of Podemos:


The choice of Pilar Lima marks a milestone in the political history of Spain since, as a Deaf user of Sign Language, her interventions will be interpreted from Sign Language. Undoubtedly, it is one more example that Deaf people also contribute to the construction of society, in this case, from the political sphere.

In addition, Pilar is the fourth Deaf female parliamentarian in Europe. She was preceded by Helga Stevens in the Belgian Parliament in 2004, Dimitra Arapoglou in the Greek Parliament in 2007 and Helene Jarmer in the Austrian National Council in 2009. The following image gallery shows the Deaf sign language users who have occupied or are occupying parliamentary positions in the world:

Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, possibly the first deaf parliamentarian in the world. She has worked in the South African Parliament since 1999 (photo: Deafdigest)

Helga Stevens, elected Member of Parliament in Belgium in 2004 and Senator in 2007. Member of the European Parliament since 2014 (photo: CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikicommons)

Dimitra Arapoglou, Member of Parliament in Greece between 2007 and 2009 (photo: Pinakio)

Helen Jarmer, Member of Parliament in the Austrian National Council since 2009 and re-elected in 2013 (photo: © APA/Robert Jäger, profil)

Ádám Kósa, from Hungary, has been an Europarliamentary since 2009 (photo: Cavazza)

Gergely Tapolczai, also from Hungary, has been an MEP since 2010 (photo: Hello Work)



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