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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Ian Bremmer –politólogo estadounidense de origen alemán y armenio, columnista de “Time” y “Financial Times”, fundador de la consultoría multinacional Eurasia Group– es un personaje relevante en Twitter, donde opina con fundamento e ironía sobre la actualidad internacional. El 9 de agosto brindaba a sus casi 200.000 seguidores un polémico tuit con una foto de Ibtihaj Muhammad, esgrimista estadounidense que, tras ganar una modesta medalla de bronce, ha acaparado la atención de la prensa occidental. Bremmer aquilataba con el laconismo característico de Twitter: “Ibtijab Muhammad, primera estadounidense olímpica con hiyab” y apostillaba que “Estas cosas dan sentido a nuestros Juegos Olímpicos”.
When traveling around the world one is astonished to discover that football is –in the eyes of many– a country’s main defining component. In Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, hundreds of taxi-drivers are fans of Real Madrid or Barça and know the smallest details about Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, even though they will never travel the 12,000 kilometers from Southeast Asia to Southern Europe. Can the essence of a nation really be fathomed through its sports teams?