Subnational governments have the opportunity and the responsability to commit themself to reduce the wage gap

Myriam Larroulet

Director for Foreign Affairs

Basque Government


We are talking about the wage gap, an indicator that informs about the salary differences between the man and woman on the labor market, which is generally expressed as a percentage made over the man salary.

In the labor market, gender equality is an undeniable aim in order to reach an advance in social and economic areas. 

It is possible to outline the underlying fundamentals of the struggle to reduce the wage gap:

● The respect of the rights of all worker women. 

● Combat against poverty and inequality. The women's minor income means a minor income per household and in the retirement pensions.

● Social harmony. A society that gives an equal salary for the same job, is a society that also distributes fairly. 

● A higher productivity. 

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations´ General Secretary himself points out that “if women could participate in the economy under the same conditions as men does, the world PIB could increase 26%”.

After the first international milestone of the Universal Statement of Human Rights on December 10th, 1945, which settles that every person has the right, without any discrimination, to an equal salary for the same job, there were many others organizations (such as UN, ILO, UN-Women, Ibero-American General Secretariat, and the European Committee of the Regions, etc) in favor of the labor equality between man and woman objective. 

The 2030 Agenda also emphasizes the fifth SDG, which refers to “achieve gender equality and to empower all women and children, striving against  the salary driscrimination and encouraging the conciliation of personal, familiar and labor life”; and the eighth SDG which concerns for decent job and economic growth.  

For everything expounded before and as part of the world institutional red, the subnational governments also have the opportunity and the responsibility to join the strategies, programs, and activities that international organizations and state governments are already implementing so as to strive against the wage gap and its causes. 

From the Basque Government, committed with the mission of boosting effective gender equality between women and men, we count with the Operating Plan 2022-2025, which entails the second phase of the Strategy to reduce the Wage Gap between women and men. This Plan is the instrument that aims to place Euskadi among the European territories with the lower wage gap in 2030. 

With this goal in mind, it is formulated an integral approach, with the participation of every area and agent involved. This Plan would be coordinated by the Women-EMAKUNDE Basque Institute and it would count with the participation of seven Basque Government departments of Economics, Labor, Education, Governance and Health area. 

The plan is articulated in four lines of action: 

1. Reduce salary/hour inequality, by encouraging an equal presence of women and men in the decision making.

2. Reduce the workday inequality, accompanying the companies in the execution of the co-responsible conciliation measures.

3. Education and social sensibilization: with initiatives such as encouraging centers to incorporate the gender perspective in their actions. 

4. Company and Union sensibilization: supporting the little and medium companies in order to make a diagnosis and elaborate equality plans.

Within this framework,  the Operating Plan 2022-2025, brings up a total of 20 guidelines and 74 measures.

I have tried to introduce concisely a world problematic with a long haul in which we can show compromise and political will of a subnational government, as the Basque Government is.  

I am completely convinced that we can develop good practices in public politics from subnational governments by exercising our competences in a descentralizational context, in a complex area like the Wage Gap, assuming our responsibility, from our own cultural, social and economic specificities and counting with the appropriate instruments.  


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