The Working Group on Gender Equality of CALRE, Conference of Regional Legislative Assemblies of Europe, coordinated by the president of the Regional Assembly of Murcia, Rosa Peñalver, has analyzed the empirical studies, data and indicators offered by the researchers of recognized national and international prestige, María Ángeles Durán, María del Mar García Calvente, Pilar Carrasquer and Sara de la Rica, during the working days held from 4 to 6 October in Cartagena.
Peñalver has expressed her satisfaction for the good development and future usefulness of this meeting, in which the members of the Special Commission against Discrimination and Gender-based Violence of the Assembly, as well as other regional Deputies have actively participated . "The Regional Assembly has held for the first time a European Workshop, whose conclusions will be forwarded to all European Union institutions in order to boost policies that support real equality between women and men. Gender equality doesn’t belongs to men or women, it should be a priority issue in the political agenda because it concerns the whole society, it’s essential for us to move towards a developed and sustainable model", said the president of the Regional Assembly, Rosa Peñalver.
The presidents attending CALRE group Workshops have discussed with the experts on equality two issues of vital importance for social progress: unpaid work invisibility and its impact on the women's economy, which means a marked impoverishment during their first employment stage and social exclusion risk in old age, and also for health; and the wage gap between women and men, which is increased and remains after the age of 30.
Sara de la Rica, Professor of Economics at the University of the Basque Country and associate researcher at FEDEA, Foundation for Applied Economics Studies, as well as at other international centers, recently awarded with the 'Basque Economist 2018- Ekonomistak Saria 2018' for her studies on topics of special social relevance, has closed the serie of conferences of experts in gender perspective, within the meeting of the Working Group on Equality of the Conference of Regional Legislative Assemblies of Europe, CALRE, held in the Assembly.
The speaker has suggested a wide number of initiatives to be implemented in different areas of political and social life, with the aim of eradicating gender gaps. Among the proposed measures are equal, non-transferable and successive maternity and paternity leave; the rationalization of working hours, with short working days; greater social awareness of new masculinities; oversight and penalty of gender discrimination in the company, with the requirement of greater transparency regarding salaries and inspection; blind curriculum promotion in early hiring stages; and education in equality.
The Full Professor of the Sociology Department at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, researcher at the Center of Social Studies on Work and Daily Life researcher, QUIT, and at the Labour Studies Institute, IET, at the UAB, understands the gender wage gap as a multidimensional phenomenon which represents one of the most remarkable inequalities expressions between women and men in European societies.
Despite the fact that current legislation protects against wage discrimination, the difference between female and male salaries remains above 20 percent in Spain. All indicators point out the fact that the gender wage gap, far from disappearing, is consolidated and strengthened as a key factor of gender inequality in the labour market.
In her analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon, Carrasquer points out that the gender wage gap would be the result of several factors such as a greater female presence in part-time work, occupational segregation and the value given to more feminized occupations or discontinuity of female work career due to care work.
There are other aggravating factors related to the productive structure itself or salary characteristics and composition, among which, stands out the weight of salary supplements linked to the presence in the company.
"Occupational segregation, working time, recognition of women's work and transparency in the different management processes and work reward, make up the hard core of the factors explaining the gap", says Carrasquer.
In her presentation, the researcher pointed out the need to take action at different levels, both inside and outside the labour market, through social actors collaboration and competent administrations in the field of labour relations and public policies.
Maite Defruc, an international sculptor with her own technique
During Pilar Carrasquer’s intervention attendees could see the process of creating a sculpture by the artist from Cartagena, Maite Defruc, using the lost wax casting technique.
With a long and recognized professional career that has allowed her to exhibit in galleries around the world, Maite Defruc personally carries out the entire process using the oldest techniques of the 'lost wax' casting. Her bronzes awaken the observer’s admiration for their textures, their play of lights and shadows, their volumes, and also for a certain classical trace. Movement, sculpture in the air and textures with transparencies are part of the distinctive character of this enterprising artist, a pioneer in her work and technique, who has made a name for herself thanks to her talent and tenacity in this complicated art.
In the Yard of the Regions have met several aspect, all of them essential, in the struggle for gender equality: politics, research and culture.
Among the public attending the conference, it is worth mentioning the members of the Special Commission against Discrimination and Gender Violence, who have actively participated in the working meeting, and regional deputies and deputies of all the parliamentary groups who have contributed to the different analyzes of the experts in equality.
The Gender and Health Professor at the Andalusian School of Public Health has defended in her presentation "The impact of caring on the health of carers: an exponent of gender inequalities" the need to develop more political actions and laws addressed to achieve equity between women and men.
For García Calvente, informal care, held in more than 75 percent of cases by women all or almost every day of the week during 8 hours or more, plays a key role in gender and health inequalities, and it is a paradigm of the invisibility of women’s contribution to society.
In general, this is an unpaid work, priceless in the market, something that is often confused with a lack of value, which generates a labour and economic impact on the caregiver, who cannot consider working outside the home or must reduce her working day, with the resulting economic problems. And, who, additionally, ends up neglecting her own health and remains socially isolated due to the labour resignation and the lack of leisure time.
In this regard, the doctor in Medicine submits that "while care was not understood as a valuable asset for health, it will not be considered as a priority in the development of health and welfare policies". For this, García Calvente claims a better development in public utilities, without gender bias, and better strategies to achieve a more equitable care distribution between women and men and between family and state.