Balancing work and family in Spain
The Norwegian Association of Regional and Local Authorities (KS) is collaborating with the Spanish Instituto de la Mujer to promote a better work-life balance in Spain.
"This collaboration between Spain and Norway can be very fruitful, given Norway's advanced state when it comes to the emancipation of women," said Mariano Alvaro Page at the Instituto de la Mujer, or the Women's Institute, in Madrid.
Similar to most European countries, Spain is reported to have fertility levels well below the replacement level. A survey from 2007 showed that Spanish women were having an average of 1.38 children. Initiated by KS, an EEA Grants-supported project is now underway to make it easier for Spanish women to combine work and family life. Drawing on Norway's experience in the field, through measures such as the Norwegian childcare reform, the project will now support local and regional authorities in developing work-life conciliation plans.
The project was launched at a conference in Madrid in March 2009. Speaking at the launch event, Lars Møllerud of the Norwegian Association of Regional and Local Authorities (KS) said: "We are convinced that precisely the question of how to reach a sound balance between family and personal life on the one hand and professional life on the other is an extremely important issue in many countries."
Spanish and Norwegian municipalities will now work together to exchange ideas, experience and best practices. Study trips to both Norway and Spain are being planned, to give local authorities the opportunity to compare initiatives within fields such as childcare and care for elderly. A central element in the project is to encourage a more equal sharing of both professional and domestic tasks between men and women.
Implemented by the Institute of Women, Instituto de la Mujer, and the Spanish Federation for Municipalities and Provinces, the project will be carried out in collaboration with several Norwegian partners. Besides the the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, the county municipality of Vest Agder, the municipality of Bærum and the five municipalities in the Lindesnes region Audnedal, Lindesnes, Mandal, Marnardal og Åseral are involved in the project. Several Spanish municipalities will also be selected to partake in the project.
Balance among personal, family and professional life in Spain and Norway
Human resource development
Type & project assistance:
Instituto de la Mujer
Type of institution:
Grant agreement date:
06 August 2008
The purpose of the Project is to establish good practices in municipalities on reconciling family life and working life for a more equal distribution of time between men and women, with the overall objective of improving balance and conciliation of private, family and professional life for men and women. Reference is made to the application, dated 8 September 2006 and any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.
The completed project shall include the following activities and results:
- Recruit through public procurement a consultancy to carry out the project (phase 1 and 2),
- Study tours for Spanish and Norwegian municipalities,
- Select pilot municipalities in Spain and Norway,
- Elaboration of tailor made conciliation plans for the Spanish municipalities,
- Seminars (Preparation seminar for the start-up of the project, preparation seminar on Best Practices, initial seminar for the Spanish municipalities), and
- Publicity - dissemination of results and publication of Best Practices guidebooks.
The Project Promoter is the Instituto de la Mujer.
The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project cost.
Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with Kommunenes Sentralforbund (KS), Norway and FEMP (the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Regions), Spain.