Gender mainstreaming has been progressively developed in Spain over the last 15 years. It was first mentioned in the Plan for Equal Opportunities between Men and Women, which was approved in 1997. This document called for a ‘transversal approach’ to gender equality – as equality-policy plans require different government departments to adopt gender-policy measures included in the plan – and recommended that all policies be revised from a gender perspective.


National level: The State Secretariat of Social Services and Equality, within the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, has a specific mandate on equality issues and runs two agencies: the Office of Gender-Based Violence, which is in charge of developing public policies on gender‑based violence that aim to uphold the rights of female victims of gender‑based violence, and the Directorate General of Equal Opportunities, which enhances equal treatment and opportunities between women and men, and the social and political participation of women.

Laws and Policies

Gender mainstreaming has been considered as a key strategy since the Plan for Equal Opportunities between Men and Women in 1997, which stated that gender equality should be a transversal goal for all policies. This reference represented the inclusion of a general mandate on the need to complement equal treatment and positive actions with a gender-mainstreaming approach; from that moment onwards, all equality plans approved by the national government introduced explicit references to this strategy, which became consolidated as a key approach to combat inequalities between women and men.

Methods & Tools

A variety of methods have been put into practice. Law 3/2007 requires gender training for all public-administration personnel and the introduction of gender issues in the examination to enter the civil service, as well as sex-disaggregated statistics, gender impact assessment, gender monitoring and a participatory Women’s Council.