A video of her comments went viral on social media late last week.
It is unclear when she actually made the statement.
The age of sexual consent in Spain is 16, and Montero later clarified that, with her statements, she was merely advocating for the right of children to receive comprehensive sex education "which allows them to have lives free of violence and that allows them in the future to freely live their sexuality."
However, her critics, whom she called members of "the extreme right," have argued that her comments have endangered children, and many have now called for her resignation as a result.
Translation: "Irene Montero must resign immediately after the barbarities that she spilled yesterday, on behalf of the Government of Spain, about sexual relations between children and adults. It is reckless that the protection of the children of the Spaniards is in the hands of these people."
Translation: "It is urgent that this lady resign or be dismissed. And shut down that totalitarian ministry when you leave. Get your dirty hands off the children!"
In addition to her ambivalent comments about sexual consent, Montero's statement also indicates that she ascribes to the gender identity ideology propagated by many on the left. In the original Spanish, Montero refers to "las niñas, los niños, les niñes." While "las niñas, los niños" is easily translated into English as "girls" and "boys," "les niñes" is a recently developed word that attempts to denote children without gender or children whose gender is unknown. Some English translators have likened it to "Latinx" or "childrenx."
Montero has held the position of minister of equality of Spain since January 2020. As a teenager, she reportedly joined the Communist Youth Union of Spain. It is unclear when or whether she left that organization. She is currently a member of the Podemos political party. In English, podemos translates to "we can."