Spain And Gender Rights : Where Does It Stand?

Charvi Kathuria
Aug 02, 2017 09:44 IST


Spain, renowned for its rich history and diverse landscapes, has shown remarkable improvement in elevating the status of its women. While some loopholes do exist, the overall picture is really positive and encouraging. We take a look at gender rights and Spain and put the spotlight on areas the country scores in.

Read on to know some important steps taken by Spain to ensure gender equality

1. In 2004 and 2008, Spain introduced pioneering legislation to uphold principles of gender equality in private and public life, and to combat against gender violence.


2. Under the auspices of Prime Minister Jose Zapatero appointed in 2008, new standards for female political participation were set.

3. According to Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Spain does not discriminate against women in social institutions. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets.

4. In 2007, the law on Guaranteeing Equality between Women and Men (‘Ley de Garantía de la Igualdad entre Hombres y Mujeres’) (2007) was passed. It aims to eliminate all direct or indirect discrimination between women and men, guaranteeing and fostering equal opportunities in political, economic, social and cultural life.


Women and Family

While a lot of efforts to rope in more and more women in the workforce have been made, the status of women in the family hasn't changed much. Patriarchy entrenched in the Spanish society thwarts women from full participation in the labor market. It will take a long time for Spanish society to perceive women sans their traditional roles of care giving and nurturing.



There is a steady rise in the number of women getting education. But like women from all other countries, proportion of women in engineering-related specialties is not very high. Most of the educated women are inclined towards becoming translators, interpreters or teachers.

Read Also: Equal Abortion Rights For single Women?



More and more women have joined the workforce in the recent years. This, however, shouldn't be confused with gender equality because differences between the male and the female participation rates are still quite high. Paternity leave is not a very prominent concept in Spain. Domestic responsibilities are major barriers because of which domestic workload remains unchanged.

Women and Politics

Females in Spain occupy some key positions including the Defence Ministry with Carmen Chacon; the Ministry of Public Works with Magdalena Alvarez; the Ministry of Education with Mercedes Cabrera; and the Ministry of Public Administrations with Elena Salgado. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega remains Deputy Prime Minister.  Interestingly, there is a minister in the cabinet to ensure gender equality.


Sexual and Reproductive Rights

In 2015, Spanish Government passed a law that made it compulsory for women under 18 to get their parents' consent before aborting their child. The government is going in the direction of elimination abortion rights for women.

Read Also: Know Your Rights; 8 Laws Every Woman Must Know

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