In an event to commemorate International Women’s Day, the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas assured that with “times of profound change […] come great opportunities”. For this reason the Chief Executive requested that “this period of change must be used to achieve full equality between men and women”.
During the institutional event to raise awareness of the need for gender equality, President Mas asserted that “immense progress has been made in the last hundred years” in terms of gender equality, equal rights, or legal equality, but he recognised that, for instance, in the private business environment the amount of women on management boards does not match the attendance of their male counterparts. “We cannot be satisfied with this”, affirmed the President with regard to the difference in representation.
Despite this, the President voiced his confidence that the Equality Bill, which is expected to pass in Catalonia’s Parliament, will serve to improve the condition of equality between men and women and “open the path towards gender equality”.
Alongside the Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Neus Munté, and the heads of various female associations in the Catalan territory, Artur Mas also spoke on the issue of gender-based violence. In this regard, the President recognized that “an integral plan to treat the problem in a fully effective way has not been found yet”, however he underlined the significant efforts being made in the fight against it.
The event which took place in the Palau of the Generalitat, included a reading of the Institutional Declaration for March 8th 2015 (attached) by the president of the Catalan Women’s Institute (Institut Català de les Dones) Montserrat Gatell, and a conference by Sara Moreno, professor at the UAB’s Sociology Department entitled “An opportunity to rethink the world”.
Additionally, in the build up to International Women's Day, President Mas and the male members of the Executive Council participated in the UN HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality.
Your Move campaign
As part of International Women’s Day, the Government of Catalonia, the four provincial governments, the Catalan Association of Municipalities and the Federation of Municipalities of Catalonia also began a joint institutional awareness campaign with the message “Tu mous fitxa. Catalunya per l’equitat de gènere” (“You move the pieces. Catalonia for gender equality”).
The objective is to encourage citizens to reflect on and review their attitude regarding the concept of gender equality in all areas of their life. In this sense, by “moving the pieces”, citizens can bring about the transformation in society that will make equality of opportunity for men and women a reality.
The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia states that gender equality is one of the values of Catalan society and that public authorities must implement active policies that recognise women as social and political subjects, overcome the androcentric model and recognise female expertise, as well as women’s contributions in all political, social, economic and cultural spheres.