Women’seconomic empowerment is a priority and it is essential for building stronger andmore stable societies; focusing on reducing this issue plays a major role inreducing poverty.
Governments, researchers, and humanitarian organizations allhave recognized the importance of women’s enterprises as a means of communitydevelopment, but progress in improving economic opportunities for women hasbeen very slow. Around the world only 50 percent ofworking-age women take part in the labour force, this makes women less paid inemployment compared to men earning on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’swages In many countries today, discriminatory laws, regulations and socialnorms still constrain women’s opportunities to achieve paid employment consequentlytheir participation in the labour market is 50% lower than men. Studies havealso shown that worldwide women have lower wages than men with a 22% pay gapand are often the first to lose their jobs. Within the last decade, genderequality policies in Spain have shown a path of positive development, Spain hadbecome a model in law making policies for gender equality at the internationallevel. However, the 2008 economic crisis has led to a growth in inequality andthis decline has been evident.
Employment conditions for women have worsenedsince the beginning of the crisis. The unemployment rate in Spain has increasedmassively as compared to other EU members. Spain also shows an enormous gender gap in thelabour market, that includes gender pay gap as well as horizontal and verticalsegregation. The gender pay gap was high before the crisis period but hasincreased tremendously since then, reaching in 2012 the peak of 23.9 percent18. Not only has this been an issue but Spain has shown an extremely slowand small increase in presence of women in economic decision making, thisproven by the fact that in 2015, women only represented 17 per cent ofcorporate members of the publicly listed companies, below the EU-28 average of21 per cent. The Empowerment of women has becomeone of the most important Concerns of 21stcentury not only at national levelbut also at an international level.
The delegation of Spain promotes women’sability to secure decent jobs, accumulate assets, and influence institutionsand public policies determining growth and development. This could be done by eliminatinglaws that discriminate against women at work and taking measures to challengediscriminatory social norms and gender stereotyping that underpin inequality inwomen’s work. Spain also believes in promoting women’s entrepreneurship byproviding them with training and financial support.Spain has always supported the economicempowerment of women. As such, Spain looks forward to offering its support, inwhatever form possible, to nations with innovative and effective solutions tothis formidable challenge.