Legal framework

Legal framework

Designing and implementing intervention proposals targeted to foster equality between women and men and of disabled people within the University requires defining a legal framework of reference. Following is the legal framework regarding gender and disability equality at all international, European, national and local levels.


«Equal pay» (Directive 75/117/EEC)
«Objective: Reinforce the basic laws with standards aimed at facilitating the practical application of the principle of equality to enable all employees in the Community to be protected, as there are still disparities between Member States despite efforts to date.»
Reference: Official Journal L 45 of 19.02.1975

«Access to employment, vocational training and promotion» (Directive 76/207/CEE)
«Objective: Ensuring the equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment and vocational training and promotion (…).»
Reference: Official Journal L 39 of 14.02.1976

«Social security » (Directive 79/7/CEE)
«Objective: Implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security that provide protection against sickness, invalidity, accidents at work and occupational diseases, unemployment and risks related to old age, as well as social assistance (…).»
Reference: Official Journal L 6 of 10.01.1979

«Occupational pension schemes » (Directive 86/378/CEE)
«Objective: Clarify ex-Article 119 of the EC Treaty (new Article 141) and define the scope and ways of applying the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes»
Reference: Official Journal L 225 of 12.08.1986, Official Journal L 46 of 17.02.1997, Corrigendum to Official Journal L 151 of 18.06.1999.

«Protecting pregnant workers and new mothers » (Directive 92/85/CEE)
«Objective: Set out the basic rights on the safety and health of women in the workplace when pregnant or after they have recently given birth, and women who are breastfeeding, who shall be considered a separate group facing specific risks in the work place.(…)»
Reference: Official Journal L 348 of 28.11.1992

«Parental leave and leave for family reasons » (Directive 96/34/CEE)
«Objective: Introduce minimum requirements on parental leave and time off from work on grounds of force majeure. It aims to reconcile occupational and family obligations and to promote equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women. (…)»
Reference: Official Journal L 145 of 19.06.1996, Official Journal L 10 of 16.01.1998

«Burden of proof in cases of discrimination based on sex» (Directive 97/80/CEE)
« (...)
1. The principle of equal treatment shall mean that there shall be no discrimination whatsoever based on sex, either directly or indirectly.
2. Indirect discrimination shall exist where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice disadvantages a substantially higher proportion of the members of one sex unless that provision, criterion or practice is appropriate and necessary and can be justified by objective factors unrelated to sex.»
Directive 97/80/CEE by the Council. Burden of proof in cases of discrimination based on sex


Treaty establishing the European Economic Community
«Article 13»
The Council is entitled to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.


The Spanish Constitution of 1978

«Article 35»
1. All Spaniards have the duty to work and the right to employment, to free choice of profession or trade, to advancement through their work, and to sufficient remuneration for the satisfaction of their needs and those of their families; moreover, under no circumstances may they be discriminated against on account of their gender.
2. The law shall establish a Workers’ Statute.

«Article 9»
2. It is incumbent upon the public authorities to promote conditions which ensure that the freedom and equality of individuals and of the groups to which they belong may be real and effective, to remove the obstacles which prevent or hinder their full enjoyment, and to facilitate the participation of all citizens in political, economic, cultural and social life.

ORGANIC LAW 3/2007, of 22 March, for effective equality between women and men

«Article 11. Positive action.»
1. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the constitutional right to equality, public authorities will adopt specific measures favouring women to correct situations of obvious de facto inequality with respect to men. Such measures, which will be applicable while the situation subsists, must be reasonable and proportional to the objective pursued in each case.

«Article 15. The cross-sectional approach to the principle of equal treatment for women and men.»
(...) The central, regional and local governments will actively mainstream the principle in the adoption and implementation of their legislative provisions, definition and budgeting in all areas of public policy and performance of all their activities as a whole.
«Article 20. Optimisation of statistics and studies.»
(...) “a) Systematically include the sex variable in any statistics, surveys or data gathering in which they engage.

«Article 24. Integration of the principle of equality in education policy»
(...) c) Include the study and application of the principle of equality in courses and programmes for initial and lifelong teacher training.

«Article 25. Equality in higher education.»
1. In the domain of higher education, the central, regional and local governments, in the exercise of their respective areas of competence, will further teaching and research on the significance and scope of equality between women and men; (...) the inclusion in the curricula where applicable of education on equality between women and men; (...) the creation of specific post-graduate studies; (...) and conducting of specialised surveys and research in the field.

ORGANIC LAW 4/2007, of 12 April, amending the Organic Law of 21 December on Spanish Universities.

This Law acknowledges the role of Universities in conveying essential values. The challenge of the actual society to become tolerant and equal, where fundamental rights and freedoms, and equality between women and men shall be respected must encompass the University. The Law entrusts Universities to confront this challenge by integrating such values as their own objectives and in the quality of their activity, but also by establishing measures that allow achieving full parity in representative bodies and a higher participation of women in research groups. Public authorities shall remove all obstacles that hinder women from achieving presence in the governing bodies of the universities, and in the highest categories of tenured teaching and research positions, according to their percentage among university graduates. Moreover, this amendment mainstreams the creation of specific programs on gender equality, on aids to the victims of terrorism, and on fostering active policies to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

«Twelfth Additional Provision. Equality units»
Universities shall have equality units among their organizational structures to develop functions related to the equality principle between women and men.

Law 7/2007, of 12 April, on basic regulations relating to public servants

«Eighth Additional Provision. Equality plans»

1. The Public Authorities are obliged to honour equal treatment and opportunities in employment, and for this purpose, shall adopt measures to prevent any form of discrimination at work between women and men.

2. Without prejudice to the preceding paragraph, Public Authorities must design and implement an equality plan to be developed within the applicable collective bargaining agreement or the labour legislation of public servants, under the terms provided therein.