The Spanish Cabinet is set to approve a wide-ranging new gender equality law proposal on Tuesday aimed at creating equal representation of women and men in politics, business, and the public sector.
The draft law, announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday and due for debate in the Spanish Parliament, would require companies with more than 250 employees and total sales above $53 million to assign at least 40% of management roles to women.
It is the latest in a series of gender equality measures spearheaded by Sanchez’s leftist coalition government.
In Sanchez’s own government, 61% of cabinet members are women, including the defense and finance ministers, and the country’s three deputy prime ministers.
Meanwhile, women currently comprise 44% of Spain’s Congress and 39% of the Senate. Under the new law, 50% of the seats in each would be filled by women, and parties would need to run an equal number of male and female candidates during elections.
Spain’s governing Socialist party has introduced a number of gender rights bills in recent months. Last month, the country passed legislation allowing for state-funded menstrual leave for people experiencing painful periods.
Also included in February’s legislation was the ability for anyone over the age of 16 to access abortions, or change their gender on identity documents.
Speaking at a rally for his party on Saturday, Sanchez said his government was “not only taking a step in favor of feminism, but in favor of Spanish society as a whole.”
The View From Italy
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is hoping to install a woman as head of at least one of the country’s state companies, as her government looks to overhaul several of Italy’s state-run agencies.
Meloni is her country’s first female prime minister, and women sit as CEO in just 2.4% of Italy’s companies.