The social service in the Spain of Franco

by | Feb 5, 2015 | daily prompt

Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?

When I was a teenager, living in Spain, then under the rule of the dictatorship of Franco, it was mandatory for all the girls, to do what was called the “social service”. They could choose to go to a camp or to do some social or manual works, all organized by the women of the “Female Section” of the ultra right Falange.

Without the social service finished, a girl couldn’t get a passport or a University title.

Franco was very old when my time to do my social service came, and I was against the dictatorship. For instance, we had also mandatory in our curricula a course titled “formation of the national spirit”. I remember my dad, a convinced democrat, told me he expected from me good grades except in that course. So when we had exams, I used to answer some questions wrong on purpose. It was funny. I managed to pass always, but with the minimum grade to do it.

About my social service, I decided not to do it. I didn’t want anything to do with the Female Section of the Falange. My classmates were trying to convince me because of the passport and the title. I had no money to travel and the title was five years away.

I thought that the time of Franco was ending, so despite the calls I received I didn’t answer.

I was right. Franco died, Democracy arrived peacefully, and the social service disappeared  before I finished my studies at the University.


Breaking the Law.



  1. angloswiss

    I did not know that aspect of life under Franco.

    • Olga Brajnović

      I remember going to a meetings where political parties, then banned, were born as simple associations. It was kind of clandestine . Exciting for a teen. I witnessed great changes in the life of this country.



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