Culture can be a fundamental tool in the fight for equality and transforming societies. It can become a space in that regard and a channel for reinventing a world view and de-legitimising unequal power relations.

Women play an active and key role in cultural activities in the city, but have not always been recognised for that. Their role in maintaining life throughout the centuries has been undervalued and their contributions to culture and society as a whole have always been regarded as secondary. Of course, the recovery of historical memory is especially important for bringing visibility to women’s contributions to our society.

Gender differences can be observed in general in the various cultural activities carried out by men and women: reading newspapers, books or magazines; viewing films and performing arts; visits to exhibitions and use of the Internet etc. The cultural facilities used most in Barcelona are libraries and community centres, and also show distinct patterns of use between women and men.

On the other hand, women generally have greater difficulties taking part in the cultural activities that are planned in the city, because they dedicate more time than men, among other reasons, to reproductive tasks, many of the cultural activities are performed during inflexible time slots and do not provide for care spaces.

A gender imbalance can be seen in the city regarding planned cultural activities and the sector’s organisational structures. In other words, there is still a gender inequality which we need to fight against if we are to be able to ensure the exercise of cultural rights such as access to, participation in and contribution to culture.

Decision-making spaces are far from showing parity. Executive posts at facilities with a city programme are clearly taken by men. By contrast, executive posts at local spaces show the reverse, and are mostly in the hands of women. It is precisely these spaces where the executives have lower salaries.

Awarding prizes and distinctions implies recognition of the merit and prestige of the city’s individuals and organisations, and often becomes a source of financial-resource distribution. An example of recognition and collective memory are the names of streets, a higher proportion of which pay homage to male figures.