Today I asked one of my business classes, which consists of three women, what they would change about Spain if they were president. I thought that they would say something about the politics or corruption, which consume this country despite what most may think, but their answers surprised me. It first took them a while to think of an answer, one woman even said she was happy with the way Spain was and she wouldn’t change anything. I thought it was quite bold to say such a thing, but clearly as a pessimist I always think there is something negative about situations or countries.
The next woman said she would change the rights of women in Spain. I looked at her with a sort of astonished face. I asked her what she meant, convinced that it might be lost in translation. She continued to tell me that Spain, although it appears to be an equal rights country, has many problems when it comes to the rights of women. The other two women were quick to agree with her and added that a woman’s salary in Spain is significantly less than most men’s salary, they also require just as much time at work as a man and are still expected to carry on all the duties at home.
As the three women sat there and spoke to me about these problems and issues in Spain, I couldn’t help but think how far women’s rights have come in the US and why haven’t they come so far in Spain? It’s a ‘western’ country, so why are women still fighting to have the same equality at work and home? I know that in Andalucia the women are expected to cook, clean, and maintain the house despite what they do at work or if they even work, but still… Anyways, it made me proud to be sitting in this room with three women who hold quite high positions in this company, despite the social pressures they encounter.
English tip of the week: It is true that make, do, take and have create much confusion in the mind of an ESL student. After all, in many languages there is usually one verb to do all the tings that these four verbs do in English. However, when my students decided that you ‘do’ friends and not ‘make friends’ in an exercise this week, it made me chuckle.