The Institute of Women, an independent organisation which is attached to the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, seeks to promote the conditions that allow social gender equality and the full participation of women in political, cultural, economic and social life.
Created in October 1983 by the first socialist government of the modern democratic era, its policies, grouped together under a series of Equality Plans, have always aimed to eradicate gender differences and ensure that women are no longer discriminated against by society.
The Institute was originally attached to the Ministry of Culture until 1988, when it was passed on to the Ministry of Social Affairs and later, in 2004, the Ministry of Employment. Its attachment to this Ministry was under the General Secretariat for Equality Policy. Since 2008, it has been a a part of the Ministry of Equality, created by the government after the general elections that same year. In November 2010 the General Secretariat for Equality Policy was closed and the Institute became attached to the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality. In December 2011, a number of ministerial departments were restructured and the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality was closed, as was the State Department for Equality to which the Institute was attached, to be replaced by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the State Department for Social Services and Equality, which assumed all the responsibilities of the former bodies. The General Directorate for Equal Opportunities was also created, with its incumbent assuming the functions of the Institute of Women General Directorate, allowing the development of integrated policies relating to equality.
Throughout its history, it has stood out for the initiatives and action it has taken to support the progress of Spanish women with regard to equal rights as promised in Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution.
To promote the equality of women and men in all areas of society, by means of well-run programmes, quality services and the cooperation of third parties.
To ensure excellence in the responsibilities entrusted to us in order to contribute to making Spain a society which is truly and effectively egalitarian for women and men, as soon as possible.