Gabriela Bustelo

What’s With Western Women?

Apparently, these numbers are not distant from other Western countries such as the United States, where only 14 percent of American engineers are women.

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What’s With Western Women?
Gabriela Bustelo

Gabriela Bustelo

Writer. Journalist. Translator. Now based in Madrid after a year stationed in Kuala Lumpur, Montevideo and Asunción.

Apparently, these numbers are not distant from other Western countries such as the United States, where only 14 percent of American engineers are women.

Mireia Belmonte, 24 years old, is the best Spanish female swimmer ever, with 5 world records in short course categories. The challenges she faces in her life are many, but maybe the toughest is being allergic to chlorine. When asked about this, Belmonte explains that she never knows when she’s going to have an asthma attack, but the powerful idea that helps her conquer anxiety is, she says: “Believing that I am the best”. Unfortunately, that notion –quite realistic, actually– has not saved her from suffering a painful shoulder condition called bursitis, which has made her pull out of 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia. 

The same day that this piece of news came out, some preoccupying facts about Spanish professional women have been made public. According to the Ministry of Education, there are more women than men in Spanish universities (54 percent of the total), but only 25 percent of those female students choose scientific careers such as Engineering and Architecture. Out of every ten engineers in Spain, eight are men and two are women. Apparently, these numbers are not distant from other Western countries such as the United States, where only 14 percent of American engineers are women. One can’t help but wonder what happened to feminist ideals popular in the 1970’s, given that recent surveys taken ??in schools worldwide state that a vast majority of girls between 10 and 20 years want to be a model or an actress and, in a smaller percentage, a beautician or a hairdresser. And the European press regularly denounces that when EU girls are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they answer: “Thin” or «Beautiful». Maybe Mireia Belmonte should get out there and speak seriously to these dazed girls.

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