© Andrea González Garrigas
Women are responsible for only between 12% and 15% of all relevant positions in Spanish universities. What is more, scientific areas are still vetoed for the female sex, who has been fighting for years for gender equality in universities. In Mètode‘s oncoming issue, you will find a monograph devoted to the analysis of the cause and effects of this conflict —Women and Science. Keys to Equality. We talked with Teresa Torns Martín, an expert in this area, about this topic.
Teresa Torns Martín, PhD in Sociology and member of the QUIT (Centre for Sociological Research on Everyday Life and Labour) at the UAB, has been studying the women’s role in science for years. She has combined the study of the challenges of the labour environment for women, with the study of the work-life balance and the lack of laws regarding paternity-leaves.
The Spanish law has undergone a series of reforms that have improved working conditions for women. Has it been of any use?
You have also studied the work-life balance in working-women. It looks as if opening the professional sphere to women did not mean that domestic chores were equally divided. Did it mean that women had to overload themselves with work in and outside the home?
Nowadays the model to look up to is a kind of Superwoman— a woman with an active professional life, who is in charge of the house and of course looks perfect all day long. Is it a kind of recognition of the women’s work or is it more about perpetuating the idea that women have to be able to handle everything whether they want to or not?
«Work-life balance was thought of considering that women do not have to be working all day long— society will always think that women have to take care of their children»
|© Andrea González Garrigas|
«Many young women are willing to carry out this kind of work, but they are unable. If you talk about certain topics you may have to hear “What’s wrong with you? You are prettier when you keep quiet”»
Our monograph on women and science also talks about the role women play in universities nowadays. According to some studies, women are only responsible for 12% to 15% of all relevant positions in Spanish universities. What causes this imbalance?
And even so, are women aware enough of this situation?
There are some imbalances nowadays that are completely outrageous. For instance, it is quite common that women get lower salaries for the same job. Is it that some still think that men’s time is more valuable than women’s?
AIn our monograph we talk about some scientific pioneers like Anna Freud or Mercedes Rodrigo. It is especially remarkable that all of them had to give up a personal life in order to succeed in their jobs. What do we have to learn from them?
It is unavoidable to talk about motherhood if we are talking about women and work-life balance. Nowadays it has become increasingly easier to become a mother thanks to technological progress. However, women have less time available since they spend most of their time in their professional careers. Will we ever achieve a real balance?
The crisis has worsened labour conditions for many people. Inequality is not only visible in women but also in young people. Do you think this will help to bring more visibility to the women’s unfair situation?
Andrea González Garrigas. Student of Journalism at the University of Valencia.
«What’s that about mothers wanting to have more time to be mothers? What I want are more fathers. Or two fathers or two mothers if that is the case. Regardless of the family model, both of them have to be there»
© Mètode 2013