Helping working mothers juggle their employment and family commitments has become a huge priority in Europe. Now, the Spanish government has announced the first phase of its “Correspondables” plan, which includes €200 in financial initiatives.
This first phase was approved this week by the Council of Ministers and is still awaiting its final approval, which is expected to happen next month.
The coalition government – made up of PSOE and Unidas Podemos – announced its initial plans last year. It says that the issues women face in finding suitable childcare have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and this needs to be addressed urgently.
In Spain and elsewhere in the EU, many working mothers have faced enormous challenges amid the economic and social challenges caused by lockdowns. In particular, when they are not able to work remotely or share childcare responsibilities, it can become impossible.
In a report, the data suggests that approximately 22% of mothers in Spain were forced to give up some or all of their paid employment to care for their children. Of those that took part in this survey, 37% weren’t given the option to work remotely during this time.
How will the project work?
According to Spain’s equality ministry, the project has a “modest” budget. However, it aims to provide support to the most vulnerable families and provide childcare for the under-14s.
It will include creating professional care exchanges, as well as helping women find high-quality employment, and creating an accreditation system for professional skills.
To benefit from the program, women must meet set criteria which will take their income level and family situation into account. The victims of gender-based violence, the over-45s, the long-term unemployed, and women with extra caring responsibilities will get priority.
Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero of Unidas-Podemos noted, “It is a feminist public policy and a first step to guaranteeing the right to care and to [make] the state … co-responsible for the first time for the conciliation of families”.
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