Spain's Top Economists Vow to Boycott All-Male Panel Discussions

(Bloomberg) -- A group of leading Spanish economists plan to boycott panel discussions and events that don’t include at least one woman.

Fifty economists and academics including Rafael Domenech, the head of macroeconomic research for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and Emilio Ontiveros, a former government adviser and founder of the Madrid-based think tank Afi, have signed the manifesto, which will be made public on Wednesday.

The signers pledge “not to take part in any academic events or round table of more than two speakers that do not feature a female expert,” according to a draft version of the document reviewed by Bloomberg. Called “Not Without Women,” it calls on event organizers to include more female experts in areas that have traditionally been dominated by men.

Like many countries around the world, Spain has been grappling with a rising call for equal opportunities for women. More than 5 million women participated in the country’s first 24-hour female strike on March 8, prompting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to reverse his earlier comments that pay equality wasn’t a top priority for his administration.

Global organizations including the International Monetary Fund have urged governments to promote equality and do more to tackle the disparity in how men and women are rewarded for their work. In the U.K., the government introduced legislation requiring companies to disclose the pay gap between female and male employers, with the results often showing significant disparities in pay in particular among top earners.

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