Meet the most famous, powerful and successful Spanish women in music, business, films, media, sports and politic. Rich & beautiful Spanish women in Spain.
When democracy was returned to Spain in the late 1970s the social values and roles of Spanish women in society began to change dramatically. For centuries Spanish women were subject to a strict conservative moral code of conduct and restricted professional opportunities aimed at preserving the family structure under the Francoist regime.
This dramatic transition of Spanish women's role in society was most noticeable in the workforce. Spanish women were previously largely excluded from working but by the late 1970s 22% of all Spanish women were employed; by 1984 the percentage had risen to 33%.
Another astounding change for Spanish women was the possibility of accessing higher education. By 1983 a staggering 46% of university student enrollment was by Spanish women; the 31st highest female enrollment rate in the world.
The Spanish woman had arrived and found her place in Spanish society and the world. In more recent years, Spanish woman have played an increasing role within Spanish politics and other public areas. Breaking the boundaries set by the past, today, Spanish women can be found among lists of the most powerful people in the world.
The following are some of the most famous and powerful past and present Spanish women in the world:
Powerful Spanish Women in Politics
Esperanza Aguirre is a powerful Spanish politician and the first female politician in Spanish history to have held the position of President of the Senate and the first female Minister of Education and Culture.
Trinidad Jiménez is a Spanish politician for the PSOE party and the minister of Spain's Foreign Affairs.
Ana Isabel de Palacio is a Spanish politician. She was a member of European Parliament (1994-2002) and the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs (2002-2004) under the PP party.
Isabella I of Castile is considered one of the most powerful Spanish queens in history. Before her death in 1504, she sponsored Columbus' voyage to America, initiated the Spanish Inquisition and unified the Spanish kingdoms.
Queen Sofía of Spain is the reining queen of Spain of Greek origin. Sofia participates in many official and political acts in Spain and is a figurehead of the Spanish monarchy.
Famous & Powerful Spanish Women in Music
Isabel Pantoja is a famous Spanish singer of Romani (Gypsy) origin. She is famous for her Andalusian singing style and presence in Spanish media.
Monserrat Caballé is a famous Spanish opera soprano known for a wide variety of roles.
Famous & Powerful Spanish Women in Media
Belén Esteban Menéndez is the ex-wife of Spanish bull fighter Jesulín de Ubrique who has made a name for herself as a Spanish television personality. Her public battles have propelled her to fame and one of the most talked about people in Spanish gossip.
Sara Carbonero Arévalo is a famous Spanish TV presenter and reporting sports journalist. She was voted sexiest reporter in the world by FHM magazine in 2009. Additionally she is widely known for her relationship with Iker Casillas, a Spanish goalkeeper.
Marina Castaño is a writer and reporter most famous for being the ex-wife of Nobel Prize winner Camilo José Cela.
Isabel Preysler is a Philippine born Spanish journalist, socialite and television host.
Carmen “Tita” Cervera is a Dowager Baroness who is a Spanish socialite, philanthropist and art dealer.
Famous & Powerful Spanish Women in Sports
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario is a former Spanish professional tennis player who won various single, double and mixed grand slam titles.
Cristina Sánchez de Pablos was the first Spanish woman to make a name for herself as a professional bullfighter.
Famous & Powerful Spanish Women in Film
Victoria Abril is a famous Spanish movie star best known internationally for her role in the Pedro Almodóvar film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!.
Elena Anaya is a Spanish actress known for her performances in the Spanish films Sex and Lucia and Talk to Her. Internationally she is recognized for her vampire role in Van Helsing.
Penelope Cruz Sánchez is the most famous international Spanish actress and has won various awards including an Academy Award and Oscar for her role in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Sara Montiel, born in 1928, is one of Spain's most famous actresses. She is well known in Europe and Latin America and continues to appear in television shows.
Paz Campos Trigo, better known as Paz Vega, is an international Spanish actress and model who found fame on a Spanish sitcom. Her international breakthrough role was in an American film called Spanglish, along side Adam Sandler.
Elsa Lafuente Pataky is a beautiful Spanish actress and model of Romanian decent. Elsa Pataky speaks 5 languages which has enabled her to work in many international film productions. In Spain, she is a well known celebrity having appeared in 18 films, 3 television series and many endorsements and appearances.
Ana Belén is the stage name of María del Pilar Cuesta Acosta, a famous Spanish actress and singer who has sold over 3 million albums in Spain and Latin America.
Ana Victoria García Obregón is a multitalented Spanish woman who is an actress, presenter, dancer and television personality. She is a Spanish gossip celebrity and socialite known for her high-profile personal life.
Powerful Spanish Businesswomen
Ana Patricia Botin is the chairwoman of Banesto who regularly appears on Forbes' list of the most powerful women in the world.
Alicia Koplowitz is the marchioness of Bellavista, a Spanish magnate, one of the richest women in the world according to Forbes and the former chairwoman of Dragados.
Rosalía Mera Goyenechea is one of the wealthiest Spanish businesswomen in the world. She and Amancio Ortega built a multi-billion dollar corporation called Inditex, which owns many popular Spanish fashion brands: Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe.
Rich and Powerful Spanish Women
Elena Cué is a rich a powerful Spanish woman married to financial tycoon Alberto Cortina.
Ana Gamazo is the president of the AGH foundation. She is an extremely wealthy art collector and wife of Juan Abelló, a prominent Spanish businessman.
Ana Rodríguez Mosquera is a powerful and wealthy Spanish woman and ex-wife of an important Spanish politician: José Bono.
Cristina López Mancisidor is the extremely rich ex-wife of Macaya known for being a hostess and giving extravagant parties to the rich and the famous in El Canyar, her mansion in Majorca.
Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, better known as the Dutchess of Alba, is a Spanish Grandee (the highest rank of nobility), a descendant of King James II of England and holds more noble titles than anyone in the world. The Dutchess of Alba is extremely wealthy and owns lavish property all over Spain.