Equality report finds Spain on the right path but still with work to do

A NEW study has shown that although progress has been made towards gender equality, women still get the tougher deal in Spain.

A new report collating results of opinion polls, youth studies and national statistics for the last four years, presented by the Reina Sofia adolescence and youth centre, showed that there is still quite a way to go.

The report defines modern obstacles to equality faced by women as salary differences, family role distribution, sexual behaviour and violent male attitudes, among others.

Although attitudes, opinions and behaviour are evolving on both sides, allowing men and women to draw closer to each other statistically, social stereotypes are not all that easy to change.

In fact some data is still worrying analysts, including the fact that while 42 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women aged between 15 and 29 declared that becoming a mother hinders women professionally, only 23 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women in the same age group say the same regarding men becoming fathers.

Another lingering difference is in salaries. The average monthly salary earned by women under 29 is €100 lower than that earned by men of the same age.

Sexist attitudes continue to linger, although the authorities insist that this is only so in a minority of cases. Yet deeply rooted, traditional, sexist opinions on relationships allow violent attitudes to smoulder under the surface.

A government report on gender violence in 2013 found that 24.2 per cent of young men aged 12-24 said they ‘partly’ agreed that if a man beats his wife she must have done something to deserve it.

Thirty three per cent of these young men also agreed to some degree that promiscuity was fine for men but not for women.

Gender violence statistics show that these attitudes begin at an early age and worsen quickly, with many violent episodes by under-30s reported.

Clearly there is still work to do to educate and break through traditionally sexist mindsets before true equality for women and men in Spain can be found.

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