MADRID, March 4 (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Saturday a gender equality law that will require more equal representation of women and men in politics, business and other spheres of public life.
The Equal Representation Law will apply gender parity measures to electoral lists, the boards of directors of large companies and the boards of directors of professional associations.
Sánchez made the announcement during a Socialist Party rally ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8. It will be approved during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting before being debated in parliament.
He said that the Government “not only takes a step in favor of feminism, but in favor of Spanish society as a whole.”
It is the latest in a series of equality measures announced by the left-wing coalition government. In December, lawmakers approved a transgender rights billas well as a pioneering law that covers sexual and reproductive health which, for the first time in a European country, offered state-funded paid leave for women suffering from painful periods.
“If they represent half of society, half of the political and economic power has to belong to women,” Sánchez said on Saturday.
The Equal Representation law will require women to represent 40% of the management of any listed company with more than 250 workers and an annual turnover of 50 million euros ($53 million).
In politics, the law will require parties to offer an equal number of male and female candidates during elections, with the aim of increasing gender parity in parliament. Currently women represent 44% of Congress and 39% of the Senate.
It will also require professional associations to have at least 40% women on their boards of directors, as well as on the juries of any publicly funded awards.
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Jessica Jones Report; Editing by David Holmes
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