Within the framework provided by the 3/2007 Act for effective equality between women and men, the Institute for Women sponsors various cultural initiatives, such as the celebration of the section “Affirming the rights of women”, in the framework of the Malaga Film Festival. Also within the audiovisual field, the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA) launched affirmative action measures for women’s productions. Thus, projects with a female author or director receive more points in the evaluation process. Moreover, the category “Especially recommended for the promotion of gender equality” has been established for films and other audiovisual works. More recently and due to persistent inequalities in the sector, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has announced the increase of points for projects with female filmmakers.The Ministry of Culture has launched other initiatives in the field of culture and equality, such as museum itineraries around women and art in the 17 state museums or the festival Ellas Crean [They Create]. Nevertheless, with the extension of powers to the fields of education and sport during the government of the Popular Party, equality policies of the Ministry in the cultural field were drastically reduced.
More recently, and to great extent as a result of the international movement in defence of the role of women in the cultural and creative industries, gender equality has become an issue in the political agenda. Recent initiatives include the establishment of a Gender Equality Committee on Cultural Affairs, the requirement of a balanced representation of women and men as a transversal objective in the Strategic Plan on Grants of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport 2018-2020 and solutions for the gender pay gap in the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM).
The topic of gender equality and differences is specifically addressed in a micro-site of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport: Equality in Numbers. The last indicators of gender for cultural participation, cultural workers, expenditure and intellectual property creation and management are available. Regarding the cultural labour market, in 2017, 39.3% of people employed in the cultural sector in Spain were women; this is smaller than the average proportion in the economy (45.5%). By economic activity, there is a clear predominance of women in libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions, and editing (representing 55.7% of the total) and a lower presence in the music industry (24.4%).
This is a longstanding trend resulting from the strong female presence in arts education and in specific training in cultural administration. Several studies carried out by associations of women in the fields of the audiovisual sector and the visual arts have highlighted that this majority of women in university degrees gets translated into the occupation of intermediate positions, but does not reach the boards of directors of institutions, the stages of creation and production, exhibitions or in granting of awards (for more details see Spanish Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media Professionals and Women Observatory in the Visual Arts).
During 2018, several professional encounters debated about the gender perspective and about the role of women in the cultural sphere, such as: 2018 Workshop of the Spanish Ministry in Madrid, Encounter of Women Directors of Museums in Valencia, Archaeological Heritage and Women in Baeza.