Fri. Feb 22nd, 2019

Foreign demands the balanced presence of men and women to attend events around the world

Exteriores exige la presencia equilibrada de hombres y mujeres para asistir a actos en todo el mundo



The Ministry of Foreign has approved an order by which dictates instructions on the presence of men and women in the events organized both in Spain and abroad, and to which the diplomatic corps is invited by everyone. The aforementioned order requires a "balanced presence" of both sexes so that the Ministry participates in any public intervention, even declining their participation.

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Order 119 is dated January 31 but was published in the BOE last Monday. It regulates this balanced presence in events organized by the Ministry, as well as in events in which representatives of the portfolio run by Josep Borrell participate. In the first case, "Foreign Affairs" intends to "integrate the criterion of balance" between men and women in the acts it organizes, and that interventions avoid "in any case, panels composed exclusively of men or women". In the second case, the Ministry establishes a protocol to assess the possible decline in the participation of an act in which there is no balance of the two genders in the interventions.






Foreign Affairs intends to "integrate the criterion of balance" between men and women in the acts that it organizes, and that interventions avoid

In the events organized or sponsored by Foreign Affairs, both in Spain and abroad, the Ministry has set the principle of balance, so that it must be reflected in the collaboration agreements prior to the organization of events. But in the case of acts that simply involve representatives of the ministry through its diplomatic corps, but not the organizer, Spanish officials must take into account this necessary balance. In the case of a clear transgression, the organizer may be called to attention and, "only in the last resort" may "evaluate the possibility of declining participation".

The order admits reservations towards this extreme measure, which it considers taking into account the idiosyncrasies and "the political and social circumstances of the country of accreditation". But he admits the possibility that the Spanish delegation may decline his presence and participation in an act because there is no balance between men and women in the interventions of events not organized by Spain. The instruction affects forums, tables, panels, participation in institutional events, inaugurations, closing events, etc.


The order admits to attend "the political and social circumstances of the country of accreditation"

From Exteriors explain that it is not a "closure in band" to participate in events where there is a balance of participation between men and women, but "another element to take into account" in which embassies and diplomatic services they will have to assess, in each case, whether the presence can be declined or not.





The criterion established by the ministry for these cases is based first on analyzing the situation, once the imbalance is detected, it is manifested to the organizer and, in the end, whatever the act, the extreme possibility of declining attendance will be assessed. "It is not that they decline directly," say the same sources, aware that there are countries where the presence of women is minimal and, in some cases, nil. A process of assessment and attention to the circumstances of each case will be initiated, for that reason, it is a matter of studying "whether or not it is convenient" to decline assistance.


It will begin a process of assessment and attention to the circumstances of each case, therefore, it is about studying "whether or not" to decline assistance

So far, the diplomatic corps has not been in the position to assess a possible absence to an act because of the scarce presence of women, but from abroad insist on trusting the professionalism of that body and the need to "ask for advice and value "in each case. The ministry insists that it is not an "inassessible" difficulty, but rather a commitment that aims to "join with what the United Nations promotes" and that is, in fact, "a practice that has been developing" in Spain.





The order is based on two laws, the law for effective equality of men and women (Organic Law 3/2007), which urges Public Administrations to adopt measures in this sense "in all areas" of action. And the Law on External Action of the State, which calls for "the promotion of equality between men and women," in addition to the eradication of gender violence.







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