Salsamendi: “I couldn’t be a member because I was a woman”


Interview with Edurne Salsamendi, pioneer of gender equality at Athletic Club

Edurne Salsamendi was just 24 years old when, in 1972, she went to the institutional headquarters of Athletic Club with the intention of becoming a member. At the offices in Bertendona Street they explained to her that it was not possible, because women did not have the same rights as men. The daughter and relative of members, she used to go to San Mamés from a very young age, but she came up against the wall of obsolete statutes and the opposition of a sexist society. Far from giving up, Salsamendi began her fight for gender equality at the Club. She was one of the pioneers who made it possible in 1979, with the arrival of Beti Duñabeitia to the presidency of the Club, for new statutes to be approved that finally allowed women to be full members.

Athletic Club, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, wanted to rescue the first person testimony of Miren Edurne Salsamendi San Pedro. Firstly, as a sign of recognition and gratitude. And secondly, because her story should be remembered by previous generations and known by current generations. Thanks to people like Edurne Salsamendi, Basque society has made progress in gender equality. There is still a long way to go, and the inspiration of women like Edurne Salsamendi should serve as an example for the present and for the future.