Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain approves the Third Strategic Plan for the Effective Equality of Women and Men 2022-2025

Council of Ministers - 2022.3.8

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Moncloa Palace, Madrid

To mark International Women's Day, today 8 March, the Council of Ministers has approved an institutional declaration and the Third Strategic Plan for the Effective Equality of Women and Men (PEIEMH) 2022-2025.

Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, explained that the text of the institutional declaration begins by expressing the solidarity of the Government and Spain with the Ukrainian women whose rights are being "seriously violated by Putin's criminal invasion". Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, also remembered the Russian women who are suffering from this war.

Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, pointed out that the United Nations has dedicated this day to recognising "the contribution of women and girls around the world who are leading efforts to respond, mitigate and adapt to climate change in order to build a more sustainable future for all people".

Strategic Plan for Equality

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoIrene Montero reiterated the Government's commitment to "turn feminism into a state issue" and to promote all public policies "that can remove the inequalities women suffer because they are women in terms of access to their rights", whether in the areas of employment or health, access to housing or the redistribution of wealth.

The Third Strategic Plan for the Effective Equality of Women and Men 2022-2025 fits into this framework, which Irene Montero has defined as "the government's roadmap, and therefore that of all public administrations, to deploy equality policies". The planned investment amounts to 21.319 billion euros, 4.4% of the State's non-financial budget, compared to 1.1% for the previous plan, which expired in 2016.

"It is a plan to contribute, from the institutions, to the best that this country has, which is feminism, and for all women to find in the common and in the institutions all efforts to guarantee each and every one of their rights", the minister pointed out.

The Plan is structured around four main lines of intervention. Firstly, Good Governance, to move towards a more inclusive and democratic model of government; secondly, Economy for life and the fair distribution of wealth, against the feminisation of poverty and precariousness; thirdly, Lives free of male violence for women, with the aim of eradicating all forms of violence; and finally, a fourth axis that aims to ensure all women can effectively exercise their rights in all areas of life.

The first axis aims to ensure that all public policies are gender-sensitive and, for example, to ensure that all public personnel are trained in this matter.

The second focuses specifically on the deepest gaps and concentrates 91% of the plan's financial resources on measures for decent employment and the reduction of wage and pension gaps, as well as joint responsibility for care: "There should be nursery schools from 0 to 3 years of age, public policies for work-life balance such as the Co-responsibilities Plan that allow women, who mostly take on these care tasks, to free up their time to be able to exercise each and every one of their rights and not only to be able to balance work and family life, but also their personal life".

In the third block, to achieve lives free of male violence, the aim is to strengthen institutional coordination and response systems for early detection and comprehensive care for victims of violence by a partner or former partner, sexual violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking.

The fourth axis includes various measures to respond to the realities and needs of women who, in addition to gender inequality, are affected by inequalities caused by their sexual orientation, race, disability or origin.

Reducing wage and pension gaps

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Government Spokesperson referred to the progress made during the legislature to reduce the wage gap, which today stands at 16.2% -5% less- and the pension gap, which has dropped from 30% to 25% and is expected to stand at 20% next year.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration's assessment of the first year of application of the gender gap supplement, which was analysed by the Council of Ministers.

This supplement is associated with accrediting a detriment in the professional career in the periods following the birth of a child, a detriment which the data show is suffered mostly by women: "Out of every 20 people who receive the supplement, 19 are women", Isabel Rodríguez pointed out.

In force since February 2021, this supplement replaced the one approved in 2015, which was considered discriminatory by a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union as it did not foresee that benefits could apply from the first child onwards, only from the second. Currently, of the 190,000 recipients, almost 41,000 have only one dependent child.

PERTE for the Circular Economy

The Council of Ministers has approved the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) for the Circular Economy, which aims to accelerate the transition from the current model -produce, consume and throw away- to a more efficient and sustainable system in terms of raw material use.

The Circular Economy proposes that materials and resources should be kept for as long as possible, waste should be minimised and recovered, and returned to the production cycle.

The Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge stated that the PERTE in Circular Economy "will make a decisive contribution to Spain's efforts to achieve a sustainable, decarbonised, efficient and smart economy in the use of materials and resources and, therefore, more competitive and with greater strategic autonomy".

Teresa Ribera recalled that the measures contained in this PERTE facilitate achieving the objectives set out in the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy for 2030, approved two years ago, and will position our country as a benchmark in the management, recycling and reuse of waste. The Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan includes resources to achieve this goal and the vice-president has advanced that 1,200 applications have already been received for projects related to design, production and waste management.

PERTE for the Circular Economy Objectives

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThis PERTE includes three objectives: to promote the eco-design of products to make them more durable and repairable; to improve waste management through treatment plants that incorporate recovered raw materials to produce new goods; and to facilitate the digitalisation of both processes.

Teresa Ribera specified that the project contemplates two lines of action: one transversal, which will be extended to all productive sectors, and another specific, aimed at three key sectors due to their contribution to Gross Domestic Product and job creation: textiles, plastics and capital goods for renewable energies.

The forecast growth of waste in these sectors is higher than in the rest and they could reintroduce a large amount of resources into the production cycle that are now wasted, but they have difficulties in accessing the necessary technology and it is very costly, explained the vice-president.

In order to improve the competitiveness of the textile sector, the PERTE favours the incorporation of raw materials with low environmental impact and technologies that facilitate reuse, and incorporates measures to improve product and material traceability.

Meanwhile, the plastics industry is committed to finding alternatives for recycling, which is why the PERTE encourages the promotion of reusable packaging and mechanical and chemical recycling. "We must accompany our industry so that the management and recovery of these materials and their replacement by others becomes a reality and an industrial opportunity, and not a source of frustration for being late in the technological race," said Ribera.

With regard to renewable energies, the vice-president is committed to managing waste generated when products reach the end of their useful life: "Lithium, nickel cobalt, magnesium, graphite are some of the elements present throughout the renewable energy capital goods industry, something that we need to recover so they can be used in the new, more efficient versions".

Teresa Ribera has advanced that the PERTE has several calls for proposals throughout this year, includes aid worth 492 million euros and plans to mobilise resources in excess of 1.2 billion until 2026.

Regulation of electric vehicle charging

Also in the field of Ecological Transition, the Government has regulated the provision of electric vehicle charging services. The regulation establishes the rights and obligations of charging point operators and service providers, and further protects users.

The obligations include the duty to submit information on the characteristics of the facilities in order to draw up an official map of charging points, which will be published in the coming months.

The third vice-president added that the measure will help to generate confidence in order to "achieve 100,000 charging points by the end of 2023 and a gradual and progressive penetration of electric mobility in our country".

Protection for displaced persons from Ukraine

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Government has agreed that the European Temporary Protection Directive will be applied in Spain as an exceptional mechanism to deal with people fleeing Ukraine and to facilitate formalities for obtaining a residence and work permit.

Isabel Rodríguez detailed that the rule will apply both to Ukrainian nationals who arrive in Spain as a result of the war and to third-country nationals or even stateless persons who were residing legally in Ukraine and have had to leave. Also to those other Ukrainians who were here before 24 February and cannot return to Ukraine. Protection shall extend to spouses, partners and minor children.

Non official translation