Parity in the autonomous governments of Spain





The new autonomous government of Castilla y Leónthe last to form in the electoral cycle that began after the last general elections, has brought with it a headline: the first coalition Executive between the PP and Vox is the least equal in Spain, with nine men and three women.

If the total number of positions (presidency, vice-presidency and councils) is taken into account, the percentage of women who occupy them remains at 25%a figure that is far from 50% and even from what is marked by the Equality Law, which calls for a balanced participation of men and women on electoral lists, in all areas of Public Administrations and on Boards of Directors of the companies, so that no gender exceeds 60% or is below 40%.

In the case of Castilla y León, with the presidency and vice-presidency occupied by two male politicians (Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, from the PP, and Juan García-Gallardo, from Vox, respectively), there are three ministries run by women: Family and Equal Opportunities (Isabel Blanco), Education (Rocío Lucas) and Mobility and Digital Transformation (María González Corral). They are all from the Popular Party, since none of the four positions that Vox has within the Coalition Executive it is occupied by women.

A lack of parity that can not only be attributed to the pact with Vox

The lack of parity in the new Castilian-Leonese Board worsens the proportion that was in the first government team of manuecowhich, although it began with only three women among its 11 members, came to have four after the entry of Ana Carlota Amigo (Ciudadanos) as Employment Minister.

That was before the “popular” leader decided to break with his government partner, dismiss the vice president and the Ciudadanos councilors and force the electoral advance. The legislature ended with five councilors and two councilors. For every female director there were three men, a proportion that is now maintained with her new partner, Vox. Therefore, the lack of parity cannot be attributed exclusively to the agreement sealed with the far-right party because the current president of the Board neither did he seek formal equality before the coalition.

Moreover, Mañueco worsened in his first legislature previous figures that were much more equal. His predecessor, John Vincent Herrerapresented in 2015 a team that had as vice president to a woman and in which, out of a total of ten managers, five were men and five were women.

It can be affirmed that, in terms of parity, the Junta de Castilla y León has done nothing but decline. would have to go back to the governments of Juan José LucasPresident between 1991 and 2001, to find a similar proportion of men and women. In 1995 the government team was made up of two women and eight men.

In recent days, there have been many voices that have criticized this lack of balance on social networks in the composition of the new Board. Among them, those of the general secretary of the PSOE in the region, Luis Tudanca, who wrote: “New government of Castilla y León. The first of the PP and VOX. The first that opens the doors to the extreme right. 9 men and 3 women. The setback begins with equality”.

Data from all the autonomous governments in Spain

Beyond the figures for Castilla y León, and with the elections in Andalusia in sight in the coming months, the map of the autonomous governments in Spain allows us to see the distance between territories in terms of parity.

Setting the balance to 50%, Castile and Leon (25% of women) shares the lack of parity with 11 other communities, but leads this ranking of inequality. Unlike, Estremadura It has seven women among the 11 members of the Board chaired by Guillermo Fernández Vara (PSOE), 64%. Also in the Government of Catalonia the presence of women is majority (eight versus seven) and there is absolute parity in Navarra, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands, territories where the PSOE governs in multi-party coalitions with other left-wing formations.

However, there are five communities where the presence of women in government is 40% or less: the aforementioned Castilla y León, together with Murcia (30%), Castilla-La Mancha (36%), the Community of Madrid and Cantabria (40%).

Other autonomies, such as La Rioja, Canary Islands, Asturias and Aragonwho cannot achieve absolute parity by having an odd number of councillors, all tilt the balance towards a greater number of men.

There is, therefore, a lot of variability in this particular map of Spain, whose national government holds the record of being the Executive with the largest number of women in the history of Spain.

45% of ministries are run by women, but there is a glass ceiling

Total, 44.6% of the advisors in the autonomous governments in Spain are women, 87 out of a total of 195, a figure that also includes the figures of the presidency and vice-presidencies. And that is a capital question: the representation of women in regional governments is also measured by the organic importance of its functions.

By comparison, the four women who preside over a regional government in Spain (Francina Armengol in the Balearic Islands, Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid, María Chivite in Navarra and Concha Andreu in La Rioja) are only 23.5% of the total and show a glass ceiling when it comes to women occupying positions of primary responsibility.

It also occurs in vice presidencies. Of the 20 there are, only four (20%) are occupied by women. They are Mónica Oltra (Valencian Community), Pilar Blanco-Morales (Extremadura), Isabel Franco (Murcia) and Idoia Mendía (Basque Country), all vice presidents in communities presided over by men.

Oltra, leader of Compromísacquires greater relevance and visibility than the other vice president of the Valencian Community, Héctor Illueca, for also holding the position of spokesman for the Generalitat, a function that provides a plus of public notoriety.

In this position, that of regional government spokesperson, which appears in the organization chart of 14 communities, there are four other women, that is, 35.7% of the total. They are Mayte Pérez (Aragón), Melania Álvarez (Asturias), Blanca Fernández (Castilla-La Mancha) and Valle Miguélez (Murcia). They all exercise this function of spokesperson and are also directors of other departments. In Catalonia, the spokesperson is a woman, Alicia Plaja, but she does not appear in the organization chart of the departments of the Generalitat.

More women in “social” ministries, less in “political”

On the other hand, there is also a bias towards the appointment of women at the head of departments traditionally associated with female roles: social issues and equality policies themselves.

Thus, of the 14 communities that have a council dedicated to equality policies12 of them, 86% are headed by a woman. The exception is in Cantabria (the vice-president, the socialist Pablo Zuloaga, includes this competence among his other attributions) and in Navarra, in the person of the first vice-president, Javier Remírez.

Also in the ministries that are dedicated to social rights and social affairs there is a vast majority of women: 88%, and there are only two men who include social services in their position, in Extremadura (the second vice president, José María Vergeles) and in La Rioja (Pablo Rubio). In the departments that manage agriculture, livestock and fishing, as well as employment, there is also a female majority (59%).

Instead, men are the majority in the councils of Interior, Justice and public administrations (75%); housing, development and mobility (65%), and in economy and finance (64%). Also in those that carry education subjects in their name (59%). And full equality is close in the fields of industry, commerce and tourism, in which 12 women and 11 men have some of these skills in their ministries.

Parity according to political party

The leftist parties have made a flag of parity in the formation of the electoral lists and have also claimed it in the formation of the regional executives. The PSOE is the formation with more women in the autonomous governments, with 87, and almost reaches equal representation.

With far fewer members in government, the largest presence of women in left-wing parties is in We can and Compromise. And, in this sense, the most feminist is Juntswhich has four women among its six ministers in the Government that it shares with ERC, which presides over the Generalitat but does not reach parity in its regional leaders.

The PP, with 47 representatives in the regional governments, has approximately 40% female councillors. With five directors currently throughout Spain, Ciudadanos has two women and three men, and Vox does not have any women in the only Government in which it is presentthat of Castile and León.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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