• PSOE condemns gender-equality funding cuts for small-businesses, universities
• Socialists say cuts show PP sees equal-pay, rights for women as unimportant
Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) has denounced the conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for what it says has been the PP’s “fierce attack” on gender equality through suspension of funding for programs aimed to help small- to mid-sized businesses implement hiring and employment equality plans and advance equal pay.
The Socialist party group of deputies in Spain’s Congress issued a statement on Monday demanding that Health, Social Services and Equality Minister Dolors Montserrat and Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro appear before congressional committees to explain the cuts, which also include the cancellation of government funding for gender-equality postgraduate studies and programs designed to advance equal pay for male and female professors and staff at Spanish universities.
In condemning the cuts, PSOE Equality spokesperson Ángeles Álvarez said the cuts are linked to an order from the Ministry of Finance to cut all public expenditures that are deemed unnecessary in order for the government to hit its budget deficit-reduction targets for 2016. The cuts, Álvarez said, show the government considers the issues surrounding equal pay for equal employment and gender-equality in Spanish society are “superfluous” and therefore expendable.