What is the Gender Equality and Reconciliation Program?

On 19 November 2011 the Understanding Memorandum came into effect, signed by the European Union Area States (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and the Kingdom of Spain which is regulated by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEAFM) 2009-2014. In particular, 10,191,250 Euros were assigned to the Spanish State in funds to manage the Gender Equality and Reconciliation of Family and Work Life Program.

The purpose of this program is to develop projects that promote equality between women and men in the labor market, female entrepreneurship, balance on company boards of directors and reconciliation of family and work life, market integration of women from vulnerable groups and the fight against gender based violence.

The Program Operator (PO) is the Social Services and Equality Secretary of State (SSESS), through the General Management for the Equality of Opportunities (GMEO).

The National Focal Point is the General Subdirectorate of Cohesion Funds and European Territorial Cooperation of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations. It is responsible of reaching the Financial Mechanisms objectives and implementing the Understanding Memorandum.

Donor partner: Ombudsman for the Equality and against the discrimination of Norway (LDO)
The Program was approved by the Financial Mechanism Office as well as by the donor countries, on 13 May 2013.


Program Life: 2013-2015

Amount: 11,989,706 € of which the Financial Mechanism provides 10,191,250 € and the Secretary of State of Social Services and Equality contributes 1,798,456

Program Objectives:

The Gender Equality and Reconciliation Program long-term purpose is the contribution to the reduction of economic and social inequality in the European Economic Area by means of promoting the following objectives:

  1. Promotion of equality between women and men in the working life
      • Female entrepreneurship and self-employment.
      • Reduction of the pay gap.
      • The social-labor inclusion of women in vulnerable groups (particularly immigrants and gypsy) and rural women
      • The balance of women and men in company decision-making positions and boards of directors
      • Increases activity and women employment rates.
  2. Reconciliation of family and work life for women and men
  3. Promotion of employment and social policies that reconcile family and work life, as well as establishing understanding to share responsibilities between women and men in household chores and dependents care (co-responsibility).

  4. Fight against gender based violence
  5. Support for the improvement of laws, policies, programs and preventive measures against gender-based violence.

  6. Generalization of gender questions through policies and practices.
  7. The purpose of the Program is to ensure that regularly participating actors in the design of policies, systematically and consistently consider the promotion of women and men equality in their jobs. This includes the educational and labor sectors.

  8. Promote bilateral relations between Spain and Norway

Furthermore the Program has the objective of reinforcing bilateral relations between Spain and Norway, promoting the execution of projects in association between both countries, which will result in the added value for both countries and the possibility of future cooperation.

Program Content:

  • Projects selected through tenders in competitive concurrence basis.
    • Pay gap reduction
    • Promotion of female entrepreneurship and self-employment
    • Job placement of vulnerable women
    • Implementation of good practices for a better coordination of services which purpose is to fight gender-based violence.
  • Projects defined by the Program itself according to the Norwegian donor partner.
    • Female entrepreneurship in emerging sectors. Promoter: INCYDE foundation
    • Promotion of women in decision-making positions. Promoter: Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE)
    • Stability - Balance Project Promoter: Institute of Women’s Affairs
    • Education and Equality Project (PLURALS) Promoter: Institute of Women’s Affairs
    • Exchange of good practices for the eradication of gender based violence Promoter: Government Office for gender violence
  • Specific actions that promote bilateral relations with the donors.
  • Complementary actions

The Project Tools for tackling the gender pay gap is a project promoted by the General Union of Workers of Spain and is co-financed by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for Spain, through the Gender Equality and Reconciliation of family and work life, for 2009-2014.