The equality policies of our country are based on two laws. Firstly, Law 2/1998 through which Emakunde was created and which lay the foundation for the equality policies in the Basque Country. Among the virtues of the adoption of this law was that of placing Emakunde in a central and strategic position in the government, attached to the presidency. This has facilitated the promotion of equality policies in each of the areas of public intervention, in a decentralized manner and in accordance with a gender mainstreaming approach. Being regulated by an act has also enabled Emakunde to carry out stable, systematic and continuous work, and has shielded it largely from possible political vicissitudes and severe budget cuts.
The second legal landmark was the 4/2005 Equal Opportunity Between Women and Men Act. This marked a turning point in the history of equality policies in the Basque Country. Among other many mandates, this law obliges all Basque public authorities to:
- Have gender-equality bodies or units
- Elaborate and implement equality plans
- Ensure that their statistics reflect the gender perspective
- Elaborate and implement equality training plans
- Carry out preliminary gender impact assessments
- Include equality clauses in contracts and subsidies
- Promote a balanced representation of women and men in decision-making bodies, including quota systems
- Incorporate the gender perspective in sectoral policies, with special emphasis on education, the workplace and on basic social rights.