Participation and social movements

The aim of this section is to raise awareness on the existing gender inequalities in the intervention of women and men in public life, which can be seen in their effective participation in social and community areas. Decades ago feminist studies revealed the existence of barriers which prevent women from participating in equal conditions as men. We also identified different obstacles, which are related to the time dedicated to reproductive activities by women or to the existence of gender stereotypes and which hinder women from taking part actively. So, it is necessary for the public area to establish mechanisms which guarantee the participation and the ability of feminist collectives and women at the moment of placing their demands in the public agenda.

To study inequalities in this area we focus the attention on the existing inequalities as well as on the tools launched by the municipal administration to lighten these inequalities. Facing the future, there is a great need to create a map of the city’s feminist collectives and associative network of women.


Data source: Local government Santiago de Compostela, 2016.

The women’s associations listed in the Municipal Register sum up 3.58% of the total number of registered associations.

The qualitative research considers the important setbacks in the field of women’s participation in public life in the last years. An analysis on a structural level is carried out and it is considered that the budget cuts and the context of the economic crisis take women back to the private area. In general, the elimination of policies and bodies focused on gender equality led to important obstacles which prevent a real social, political and community participation of women.

Capacity to influence

Data source: Department of Equality, Economic Development and Tourism, 2016.

At the moment there is the intention to create a Women’s Participation Board

The Local Committee of Coordination of Gender Violence is in process of creation after being approved by the municipal plenary session on 28th April 2016. The committee will count on the participation of representatives of the Department of Equality, social services, the Local Police, professional bodies, the public prosecutor’s office, the educational inspection, the Social Security and three feminist bodies (la Marcha Mundial das Mulleres, la Federación Galega Feminista y Conas Ceive).

The project “Compostela, Terrain of women” intends to be a screen to make all the activities developed by the Department visible and transparent. One of the sections of its website is meant to advertise which are the organizations, associations and bodies working in favour of equality in the city.  That way a map of mobilisation, activism and of feminist networking is built and the will to collaborate with this type of agents is proven.

The upcoming opening of the House of Women supports the visibility and the establishing of communication channels between women and feminist organizations and the local government.
We can see in the qualitative research the importance of counting on real mechanisms of influence and the urgency of starting the Council of Women’s Participation and have a specific working space like the future House of Women could become. The feeling is focused on the need to recover these spaces and mechanisms to achieve a real capacity of influence referring to municipal functioning.

Municipal policies of social participation

Data source: Local government Santiago de Compostela, 2016.

The qualitative research highlights the existence of great obstacles at the moment of reaching representative and power positions in this kind of spaces. On of the main obstacles is the existence of masculinised patterns which are established as standards in social participation leaderships in the city.


The Xohana Torres Award for Essay and Audiovisual Creation 2016 is launched by the Department of Equality, Economic Development and Tourism.

The award has the following objectives:

  • Strengthen the presence and social recognition of women in all the areas of the society
  • Make their contribution throughout history visible
  • Promote the effective equality of women and men and eradicate the different ways of discrimination and inequality which women suffer nowadays.