- The Ministry of Equality is the Government Department that most discriminates against men.
Equal is most certainly what it is not, certainly as far as the gender of its employees is concerned, with only 19 of the 88 staff available to Minister Irene Montero’s department, being men, according to the latest update of the Statistical Bulletin of Personnel at the Service of Public Administrations. That is, only 21.5% of them are male. This is the lowest percentage of male representation in all of the different ministries in the coalition government.
According to “the number of personnel in each Ministry by sex”, the proportion of men is as follows: Agriculture, Fishing and Food (39.5%); Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (49.9%); Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation (49.9%); Science and Innovation (35.5%); Consumption (34.5%); Culture and Sports (34.4%); Defence (54.2%); Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda (33.2%); Education (28.9%); Finance (41.9%); Inclusion, Social Security and Migration (36.8%); Industry, Commerce and Tourism (40.8%); Interior (62.3%); Justice (45%); Territorial Policy and Public Functions (44.1%); Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory (46.9%); Health (30.4%); Labour and Social Economy (40.9%); Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (54%); Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (61.1%) and Universities (32.3%).
In March of last year, the the Minister of Equality was denounced before the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office for a possible crime of prevarication, pointing out that 79% of its senior positions were held by women. The complainants alleged that, in doing so, Montero was in breach of the principle of Equality in Public Administrations.
The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, defended herself by stating that men “are not excluded” in her Ministry, but she considered that, for many centuries “men and women have been ruled exclusively by men”, so at the present time she makes no apology of the fact that “the most competent persons for positions of responsibility are women.”
“From our own experience, women have spent more time thinking about how society as a whole can be better, respecting more human rights and women are also more open,” added Montero.
The minister also surrounds herself with women in her inner circle, including Noelia Vera, Secretary of State for Equality and Gender Violence; Boti García, general director of Sexual Diversity and LGTBI Rights, and Antonia Morillas, director of the Institute for Women.
The Ministry is also accused of gender bias in many of its contracts.
Last November, as El Confidencial newspaper reported, the Central Administrative Tribunal for Contractual Resources overturned an Equality contract to cover the services of the emergency telephone number 016, for reporting cases of violence against women. It stipulated that all of the assigned personnel be women. The amount of this contract amounted to 7.8 million euros, with a duration of 5 years.
The court found that the contract implied a violation of fundamental rights” and that the specifications of the hiring were “null and void.” Consequently, the Ministry had to cancel and then re-tender the contract.
Photo: Irene Montero & Noelia Vera, Minister and Secretary of State for Equality