Spain 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. However, the consolidation of the strategy owes most to its being formalised in Law 3/2007 on the Effective Equality on Men and Women. Law 3/2007 states in Article 15 that gender mainstreaming must represent a basic principle of action for all public administrations, and that a gender perspective must be included in all norms, budgets and actions. In addition, the law prescribes the creation of gender units within all ministries and regulates key gender-mainstreaming methods, including gender impact assessment, gender monitoring and gender training, as well as an Interdepartmental Commission for Equality and a participatory Women’s Participation Council. This council, created as a professional advisory body – essentially to provide a channel for women’s participation in the effective achievement of equal treatment and opportunities – was set up only in 2009. It embraces a wide variety of agents, from women’s organisations and social partners to representatives of different levels of government.