SWOT-analysis Spain

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Project BANDIAR SWOT-analysis of Spain prepared by ASAEL


1. What have we done successfully to

  • mobilse women in political life?
  • The problem of gender discrimination’s visibility has caused lots of debate in Spanish society. For example at present time, the issue of gender violence is of great importance. Many women and men have become involved in political affairs because of greater awareness.
  • During these three decades of democracy, the role of women in Spanish politics has been gradually equated to that of men. Not only men and women are increasingly in their political attitudes but also that gender equality is gradually penetrating our institutions.
  • make women visible in political life?
  • In 2008 the Ministry of Gender Equality was created in Spain in order to foster the social policies of Equality rights of women, gender violence, Women National Institute and Youth National Institute policies.
  • The nomination in the Defence Ministry of a woman in an advanced state of pregnancy has become an icon that has filled many headlines in newspapers around the world. The composition of the new government, President Zapatero has managed to convey very effectively with its commitment to gender equality.
  • National law 3/2007 for the equality between men and women, in order to promote their power into the decision making process.
  • engage citizen in political dialogues?
  • In Spain most of the regions and major cities have a General Directorate of public participation to involve citizens in all spheres of government possible, like promoting a better relations with the administration.
  • engage citizen to participate in elections?
  • Thanks to the Information Society, citizens are more informed about political issues, although most of the media are limited to monitoring the political agenda without introducing other topics for discussion. Television format in Spain has become a key element to the point that it often becomes one more item on the agenda.


1. How are the posititions women politicians occupy in contrast to men?

  • Do women in contrast to men mostly occupy places in welfare committees where there are many detail rules to be considerate?
  • In Spain, the average of women taking part in the juridical career decreases in the high level. In the Superior Court there are only a 7.9% of women.
  • Is there only/mostly men on the major positions like municipal executive committee, tax committees etc?
  • – Yes. Even if women have been increasing their presence in Congress, quotas have been imposed for some games it was favoured, but the ball seats prevents build a political career and leadership. But is this big push for women in the Cabinet has not been extended in the other political institutions of our country. For the executive power, the percentage of women in managerial ranks lower than the minister appears to be significantly lower . The percentage of women at the level of deputy general directions and the first government of Zapatero was only 22 per cent, less than half that percentage in the ministerial level. It seems that Spanish government has opted for equality only in the positions of executive power that are more visible to the public. Moreover, the legislature remains a male stronghold. In addition, this new Congress is a stalemate in the number of seats held by women. In our country, the inclusion of women in politics is like professional (and in the case of the government undoubtedly superior) to the participation rates of women in the labour market. At present, our Congress is almost a mirror image of the situation of women in the labour market in our country, but the executive power (if you only count the Council of Ministers) is at the forefront in terms of equality gender concerns.

2. What resources do we lack in order to

  • Mobilise women in political life?
  • A real obstacle for the participation of women is the inequallity due to the division between public and private space. Even if women have been increasilly participation in public spaces, participation of men in private space is needed.
  • make women visible in political life?
  • To give visibility to leader women in politics.
  • Women have another way to understand politics and power relations.
  • Private-public spaces and cultural issues are very slow changes in the society for the equality of women and men.
  • engage citizens in political dialogues?
  • Political debate is far away from the direct needs of most of the population.
  • Non ideological debate.
  • More individualism society.
  • Mass media are not creating debate, just informing about the agenda create by political parties.
  • Globalisation context: it is not a regional or national framework operating. Politics are perceived as much more complicated. Quantity but not quality of information.
  • engage citizens to participate in elections
  • Lack of participation, distrust in political parties and politics in general, disappointment regards to the political world, lack of political awareness.


1. What are the opportunities for

  • mobilising women in political life?
  • The integration of women in the field of public policy in Spain has started latetly and has been much slower than their participation in other social areas. For this reason, we can increase their participation in the political area as it happened in other social fields.
  • Women are succeeding in changing the political agenda of political parties and governments, but often fail to do so in their own political organizations, but in NGOs. From this point, it results easier to launch their proposals and influence on the actions of both governments and programs of political parties.
  • For many young women, the local level is where they can find the means and opportunities for participating, influencing the decision-making process and acquiring competences transposable to the formal political sphere. Citizens participe activelly in the local level more than another one, fo this reason is important to work with women in this field.
  • making women visible in political life?
  • There is no doubt that the ”pink” Zapatero government represents a notable progress in this area but this should not make us forget that women remain underrepresented in the legislative and judicial. Therefore he keeps working on this headline to increase the visibility of women in political life not only in the media, but also in other spheres of public power.
  • Develop training and follow-up programmes for those who want to become involved in politics
  • To encourage political parties to train women so that they can be recruited more widely and can acquire the skills required to be candidates for positions of responsibility.
  • engaging citizen in political dialogues?
  • In our country, according to the latest available data, there has been a great increase in membership associations from the beginning of the nineties. Currently the level of memberships would be around 40%. This dynamic could be used to engage citizens in political debates.
  • engaging citizen to participate in elections
  • New technologies represent a new possibility for the interactive communication and it could be used within the political framework. Internet and ICT are a powerfull opinion tool in Spain. Political parties and institutions could increase the power of these new tools for open the participation of other stateholders and current citizens.

2. What trends/arguments can we use to

  • mobilise women in political life?
  • To require an equal participation. Facilitate the entry of an increasing number of women through political parties and institutions is necessary but will not be effective if we don’t take into account the inequalities of departure.
  • Women have different ways of make politics. This new trend must be reinforced.
  • make women visible in political life?
  • In a few decades, women visibility has increased a lot. That means that society is more conscious about this fact. We must continue to inform about the women situation.
  • To hightlight the different way of make politics of women. Men are usually more identificate with power but women are usually identificate with ”work for the others”.
  • To promote the network between women.
  • engage citizen in political dialogues?
  • Let us make democracy an equal participatory democracy. We fall into the trap of reducing the participation of institutional fields. Foster social networks that not only complement that institutional participation, but that makes decision making not only more democratic also more effective.
  • engage citizen to participate in elections
  • A real change towards participatory democracy is needed. Political parties need to be closer to the citizen. We need to work specially in the local level, because it is the closer level for the citizens.


1. What are the challenges/obstacles we face

  • mobilising women in political life?
  • Citizenship is something that must be learned and it is a slow process.
  • If we analise the number and position of women politision in contrast with the average of women voter, we have to thing in cultural phenomenan.
  • making women visible in political life?
  • Political parties and other stakeholders have take into account the visibility of women as one of the more important issues.
  • Local level havet to increasingly take more importance in the globalisation context. Local level, as the closer level for the citizens, must reinforce the incorporation of women politicians. We would like to highlight the role that the local authorities play with regard to the women participation, since they are the institutions nearest to the citizens.
  • To give visibility to the women different way of makes politics.
  • To foster network between women.
  • To reinforce the examples of leader women in politics. This could be a good mirror for other women interested in politics.
  • Women have another vision of the ”power” concept in politics.
  • engaging citizen in political dialogues?
  • The increase in membership associations could be a good trend in order to engage citizens in political dialogues. DG Citizens Participation could be a good opportunity for seeking other kind of participation.
  • • engaging citizen to participate in elections
  • Political parties closer to the citizens.
  • New tools in order to bring closer politics to the citizens like ICT tools or open participation process.




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