Spain, the country where female unemployment increased the most in 2020 following the COVID-19 crisis

Spain, the country where female unemployment increased the most in 2020 following the COVID-19 crisis

In line with International Women’s Day, companies find a great opportunity to highlight the progress made, but also to make visible all that remains to be done. This is the case of Womenalia, the Spanish startup dedicated to professional development and the empowerment of women, “because obtaining the same professional and personal opportunities is everyone’s responsibility.

For this reason, from the start-up, they are committed to making reality visible in the data, as a good start to become aware of the current situation and continue to build the path of change, a path that we must travel together, men. and women. report that includes the x-ray of the current situation and can be viewed here.

Here are some of the most remarkable data:


The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has triggered a gender gap at work. In Spain, according to the APE for the fourth quarter of 2020, female unemployment increased by almost three points (from 15.7% to 18.4%); being, therefore, the country where female unemployment has increased the most.

According to data recently released by the Ministry of Labor. male unemployment in February increased by 13,032 male (0.77%) to 1,704,010 registered unemployed. In the case of women, it increased by 31,404 (1.38%), reaching a total of 2,304,779 registrants.

In addition, women devote 38% of overtime to the care and education of their family members. In addition, according to data, 92% of people who requested time off to care for their children in the third quarter of 2020 were women.

According to the Santa Luca Institute, 2 out of 3 of the most precarious jobs are held by women and only 14% of women hold managerial positions, compared to 86% of men, of whom only 5% hold presidential positions, according to the report ” The female manager in Spain ”of PWC.

Wage gap

The Ministry of Equality recalled that the pay gap is 21.4% (2018, the last year in which the INE proposed this data disaggregated by sex).

According to the ILO Global Wage Report 2020-2021, motherhood triggers the wage gap in Spain. Before the age of 30, the wages of women and men are more similar (4% lower than theirs), after 30 years the gap drops to 10%. At 40, women already earn, on average, 15% less than men, a figure that rises to 20% when we talk about people over 50.

In Spain, women’s salaries were cut by 14.9%, compared to 11.3% for men in the second half of 2020 (Global Salary Report 2021-2021, ILO).

The biggest differences are found among people over 65, when the pay gap is 136.6% of the average wage for women in this age group. (Report “Wage gap and glass ceiling”, Gestha).


Women represent only 18% of start-up entrepreneurs. (Entrepreneurship Map, Spain Startup-South Summit, 2020) However, the percentage of recent business abandonment is higher among men (53.9%) than among women (46.1%). (GEM Spain Report, 2019-2020).

With the crisis caused by COVID-19, women place more importance on helping entrepreneurship, while men value more help linked to internationalization. (GEM Spain Report 2019-2020). But banks are lending less to women-led businesses in the first year of operation. (The gender gap in access to bank credit, Banco de Espaa).


Women have reached numerical parity (45-55%) at the bachelor’s and master’s levels and are on the way to achieving it at the doctorate level (44%) (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). 67% of management and management positions are held by Men. They take up to 5 years longer than them to get it ( report).

Women make up only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of computer science and computer science graduates (UNESCO Science Report, 2021).

In recent Global Talent Trends (2020) and Linkdln Emerging Jobs Report, 100% of the most in-demand jobs and with the highest growth rates were STEAM. According to Pearson Frank Java and PHP Salary Survey, only 9.3% of women in Spain are programmers.

Reconciliation – Stewardship – Care

92% of women in the EU regularly perform care work, which means that they provide unpaid care at least several days a week, compared to 68% of men. (European Institute for Gender Equality, 2020).

About 50% of the women took responsibility for cleaning the house and 43.8% took on caregiving responsibilities. On the other hand, 20% of the men were in charge of cleaning and 18.3% of the men assumed the responsibilities of care. (Women and Science Unit (UMYC) Ministry of Science and Innovation, 2020).

In the EU, 29% of women say the main reason they work part-time is because of caregiving responsibilities, compared to just 6% of men. (European Institute for Gender Equality, 2020).


There is a difference of almost 500 euros between the average pension obtained by men and that obtained by women. Men receive an average pension of € 1,338.81 per month, while the average for women is € 884.10. (Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, 2020).

The average retirement age is 65.1 years for women against 64.2 years for men. (Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, 2020).

Women earn on average 37% less pension than men and in some communities this difference can reach up to 50%. (Santa Luca Institute).

Senior talent

The ratio of inactive women over 55 with basic education is double that of men with the same level of education, 15.6 and 7.4 respectively. (Talent Management Barometer III, EAE and DHC, 2019).

Of the 780,500 older women who have joined the country’s labor force, 77.9% (608,200) are employed. (Talent Management Barometer III, EAE and DHC, 2019).

Rural women and the digital divide

In rural areas, the female labor force is 49%, compared to 72% for men, and female farm owners represent 32% of the total. (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food).

According to the Confederation of Rural Women’s Associations, in rural areas women of a certain age, 50 and over, are married in community property and have no income of their own.

Job opportunities are scarce in cities, especially for rural women, who suffer from an unemployment rate of over 42%. (FADEMUR).

And to this we must add that 60% of rural municipalities are in a “gray area”, which means that they do not have a broadband connection or that it is very defective or expensive. (Secretary of State for the Information Society and Digital Strategy Broadband Report).

According to data from Fademur, in Spain, women represent 37.3% of people receiving direct CAP assistance. When it comes to the amount, women also fare badly: on average, producers earn 36.67% less than producers.


Since 2003, when data began to be recorded in this regard, 1,082 women have been murdered at the hands of their partner or ex-partner, according to data from the Government Delegation against Gender Violence, 2021.

In 2020, calls to 016 increased by up to 60% more in April compared to the same month in 2019, with a total of 8,632 calls. The Equality Ministry has activated a chat service, predicting that some women will not even be able to speak aloud on the phone while living in lockdown with their attackers.

Only one in five murdered since 2003 had already denounced their attacker. In 2020, the percentage was even lower: 15.6% sounded the alarm. The victims “had more difficulty asking for help, getting out. They endured many other crimes without reporting ”. (Ngeles Carmona, president of the Observatory against domestic and gender violence of the CGPJ).

The risk of assault increases when they say they are leaving and see that they are losing control. (Report of the General Council of the Judiciary).

83% of Spanish women are scared when they come home at night and 45% feel it regardless of the time of day (Sister app survey, 2019).

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