Spanish government takes machismo by the horns

Minister Carme Chacon inspects her troops. Spain’s Socialist government aims to take the country into the lead in the global gender revolution. With liberalised divorce and abortion already achieved, Prime Minister Zapatero has put a young woman in charge of a new ministry of equality which has the job of, among other things, beating the machismo out of Spanish men. Admittedly, the weapons seem rather inadequate. Thirty-one-year-old Bibiana Aido, the youngest minister in Spanish history, has announced a telephone hotline to help men adapt to a “new model of masculinity” and she is leading a make-over of the Spanish language to create feminine forms of masculine gendered words, including minister, boss, lawyer, policeman and soldier.

Speaking of soldiers, upon re-election in April Zapatero appointed a female dominated cabinet with seven-months-pregnant Carme Chacón as defence minister. Among her priorities is to reinforce the presence of women in the armed forces. In its first term the government pushed through electoral reforms in favour of women and measures to increase female representation on company boards of directors, as well as strong legislation against domestic violence.

The Prime Minister has been careful to give the Ministry of Equality a small budget and an unclear mission. But Ms Aido is convinced that the hotline will help men inclined to violence deal with their problem, while others can find help to “solve their doubts” as the “patriarchal system” begins to crumble. ~ Deutsche Welle, July 13



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