Spain/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

The issue of gender equality is clearly a major challenge for Spanish society, addressed in the 3/2007 Act for effective equality between women and men. It establishes special recommendations for cultural policy making, in recognising the duty of the authorities to implement the right of equal treatment and opportunities for women and men in all aspects related to the creation, the artistic and intellectual production, and their dissemination. The Act also provides for the implementation of active policies, translated into economic incentives, and for the promotion of balanced participation of men and women in artistic and cultural public offering. To this end, the Institute for Women established during 2010 and 2011 a new line of funding specifically aimed at promoting equal opportunities between men and women in the field of art and culture. With this strategic commitment, the government sought to provide all citizens with equal access to culture and to establish positive actions that raise public awareness, make women more visible and correct situations of inequality in the artistic creation and production of women. Despite the cancellation of this line of funding, the Institute for Women has continued to sponsor various cultural initiatives, such as the celebration, in 2013, of the sixth edition of the section "Affirming the rights of women", in the framework of the Malaga Film Festival 2013. Also in the audiovisual field, the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute recently launched affirmative action measures for women's productions. Thus, projects with a woman author or director receive more points in the evaluation process. Moreover, the category "Especially recommended for the promotion of gender equality" has been established for films and other audiovisual works. In the same vein, the 7/2010 Act on Audiovisual Communication aims to prevent and eliminate gender discrimination in the context of the provisions on advertising and media included in the 1/2004Act on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence and the 3/2007 Act.

In March 2010, the Ministry of Culture launched an initiative in the field of culture and equality called Pioneers in Europe based on museum itineraries around women and art in the 17 state museums, together with the edition of the on-line catalogue Heritage of Femininity.In 2011, the Ministry published the book "Women and culture. Equality policies" that reflects the development of equality policies in its areas of responsibility. In 2014, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality launched the tenth edition of Ellas Crean They Create. With the launch of this festival, the creative potential of women has become more visible, increasing year by year both the number of creative participants and the public. The festival has crossed the Spanish border through the Cervantes Institute, developing its activities in thirty cities from five continents.

Nevertheless, we can claim that, with the new government and the extension of powers to the fields of education and sport, equality policies of the Ministry in the cultural field have been drastically reduced. According to the assessment of the Ministry, the programmes of the last years have achieved some positive results, as there is greater presence and visibility of the female contribution, though there are still some places in the industry where it is very difficult to penetrate and that require additional efforts to achieve normalisation.

According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2014, in 2013, 39.6% of people employed in the cultural sector in Spain were women; this is smaller than the previous year (41.8%), and smaller than the average proportion in the economy (45.6%). By economic activity, there is a clear predominance of women in libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions, and editing (representing 59.5% of the total). This is a longstanding trend resulting from the strong female presence in arts education and in specific training in cultural administration. Several studies carried out by associations of women in the fields of the audiovisual sector and the visual arts have highlighted that this majority of women in university degrees gets translated into the occupation of intermediate positions, but does not reach the boards of directors of institutions, the stages of creation and production, exhibitions or in granting of awards (for more details see Spanish Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media Professionals and Women Observatory in the Visual Arts).


Chapter published: 24-06-2015


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