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Country visit to Spain

In its report on its visit to Spain from 9 to 19 December 2014, the Working Group noted that since its democratic transition, the State has made remarkable progress and efforts to integrate women in public, political and economic life and committed to eradicate domestic violence and protect sexual and reproductive rights of women. An impressive legal and institutional infrastructure for gender equality has been set up, bringing considerable benefits for women.

Despite these achievements, the country is still threatened by regression. The culture of machismo and the social influence of patriarchal religious institutions, combined with the austerity policies implemented in the context of the economic and financial crisis of recent years, have had the effect of limiting many women to traditionalist and subordinate roles and undermining their status in economic, social, political and public.

Measures crucial for the socioeconomic empowerment of women, including care services and women’s equality institutions, have been reduced in many regions of the country. The Group recommends that an evaluation of the impact of austerity measures on gender issues be conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner.

Despite progressive legislation to combat intimate partner violence, violence continues at an intolerably high level. The current law only cover domestic violence and not all forms of gender-based violence. Investment in education, including the continuation of compulsory education for women's rights in all schools is essential.  The Group noted positively the existing measures for monitoring the media and advertising for their negative portrayal of women should be strengthened by enforcing sanctions and ensuring the equal participation of women in the media.

The current legislation protects the sexual and reproductive rights of women. Nevertheless, the Working Group expressed concern at the persistence of obstacles to women's access to safe and legal abortion services in a particular region. The Group recommended that the access of girls and adolescents to legal abortion is ensured.

The Group welcomed positively the participation of women in national parliament at a rate of 37.5%. The Group recommended that the State implement temporary special measures to bring a gender balance in public administration, including at the highest levels of the judicial system and in the Foreign Service.

Please also see the end of mission statement at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15444&LangID=E