The first times and the glass ceilings | International


Hello! We are already on the third issue of American and we want to thank everyone who has accompanied us in these three weeks in this new bulletin on gender and feminism. If you like it, don’t forget to recommend it to other people who think they might enjoy it too. Here is the link to subscribe.

This Sunday, inspired by one of the friends who brought me to do journalism in America, I want to talk about the first times. I met Marta del Vado, a journalist from Cadena Ser, in La Guajira in Colombia. Then we met in the United States where I saw her work tirelessly to narrate the hectic years of the presidency of Donald Trump. Now he has just returned to Madrid to present the program Window, one of the highest-rated Spanish radio stations, and he has taken advantage of his first time in that space to make the voice of another Cuban journalist who has a lot to tell be heard, Mónica Baró, who spoke of when she had to pack her bags to put heading into exile.

This year, Mónica went to Spain for fear of ending up in jail simply for doing her job as a reporter and telling what happens on the island, something that in Cuba is prohibited if you do not do it in the state media. Writing from her country led her to suffer “strong political violence and harassment” and to be fined for her publications on social networks. That first program not only inspired me by the emotional presentation speech in which Marta talks about those first times in which you keep going “even if your voice and legs are shaking”, but also by how women can take advantage of the spaces that we leave opening to leave the door open for others and among all of them breaking the glass ceilings.

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According to a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published in March last year, a girl born today would need more than 200 years to have the same opportunities, salary, rights and power as men. Among the factors that maintain this gender gap are the macho ideas that persist in many ways in our society —in men and women— and that, according to Raquel Lagunas, one of the advisers of that organization, told my partner Alejandra Agudo “ they are opportunity inhibitors ”. “For example, from the age of 12, girls begin to raise their hands less in class; with which the possibilities of expressing their ideas are subtracted. It is three times more difficult for women to become politicians due to external barriers, but also due to their own biases ”, she explained.

The glass ceilings that prevent women from advancing in many areas of our society have cracks that are opening little by little. This week, Kamala Harris became the first president of the United States for just under an hour and a half, while Joe Biden underwent a medical procedure. The news may sound anecdotal, but with her inauguration in January as vice president she broke several glass ceilings: she is the first woman and the first from an ethnic minority (black and Asian) to be sworn in as number two in the White House. “I am here thanks to the women who came before,” he said then. This week we have also had pioneers in different fields on the pages of EL PAÍS. Our Culture correspondent, Camila Osorio, interviewed Raquel Coronell, the first Latina to direct the Harvard University newspaper, Harvard Crimson, a publication that in the past was directed or edited by former United States Presidents John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “I am very aware of my responsibility, I know that I am now in the chair they have occupied,” Coronell, the daughter of two famous Colombian journalists who also had to go into exile for their work, told EL PAÍS this week. Among his objectives from his new position is to make the publication “an open door to Hispanics.”

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From the political front, in Peru, the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Anahí Durand, is waging another battle to try to bring feminism closer to the Government of Pedro Castillo, accused during his campaign of not understanding the problem of femicides . The president started his government on the wrong foot by appointing a Cabinet with only two women and 17 men. After a slight correction, there are now five ministers but it is still very far from parity. Against this background, Durand prepares gender equality courses to train senior executive positions. “The presence of female ministers has increased, but hopefully the number of congressmen and mayors will also increase more. There has to be more space for women and we are working towards that, ”Durand said this week in an interview with my partner Jacqueline Fowks.

Senator María Celeste Sánchez in a file photo.
Senator María Celeste Sánchez in a file photo.CELESTE SÁNCHEZ

Another pioneer in the political arena with whom we spoke this week is Celeste Sánchez, the first Afro-Mexican senator, who chairs a special legislative commission on the murders of girls and adolescents in Mexico. “Most of the victims of feminicide are racialized women,” he warned in an interview with journalist María Julia Castañeda.

The fight for equality is fought on all fronts of society, as the legend of women’s tennis Martina Navratilova reminded us this week. “I fight for women to have more power,” she told our colleague Alejandro Ciriza from Guadalajara (Mexico) where she participated as an ambassador for the Teachers’ Cup. The athlete is convinced that “women’s tennis is leading the way in the fight for women’s equality everywhere.” Don’t miss the interview!

These are our recommended articles of the week:

COLIMA, COLIMA, NOVEMBER 01, 2021.- Indira Vizcaíno took a protest as constitutional governor of Colima in the State Congress.  The morenista was accompanied by Lorena Cuéllar, governor of Tlaxcala, and Claudia Sheinbaum, Head of Government.  PHOTO: CUARTOSCURO.COM

The head of government of Mexico City is the great asset of the left of her country. Many see the 59-year-old Physics BA and Energy Engineering Ph.D. as the future president.

A protester with the word

As long as abortion continues to be a crime in Colombia, peasant women, poor young people and fearful migrants will continue to go to clandestine garages.

Frida Kahlo's self-portrait 'Diego and I', exhibited at Sotheby's in London in October.

Argentine businessman Eduardo Constantini buys ‘Diego y yo’ for $ 35 million, four times the painter’s previous record

Córdoba / 09-06-2021: The writer Anna Freixas at her home.  PHOTO: PACO PUENTES / EL PAIS

In the book “Yo, vieja”, feminist sociologist Anna Freixas talks about why women have the right to become old.

And to say goodbye, some suggestions:

📚 A book:

The invisible woman: how data shapes a world made by and for menby Caroline Criado Perez. The recommendation comes from our correspondent in Brazil, Naiara Galarraga Gortázar.

Although at first glance it may sound tedious, I recommend this book because it blew my mind. I was turning pages and did not leave my amazement. With examples from every imaginable field, it immerses you in a reality that I had not noticed. He was very aware of the immense power that men still wield, of course, but not of the extent to which “the experience, the male perspective, is seen as universal, while the female —as if we were not half of the world’s population— is considered, let’s say, a niche ”, writes Criado Perez. The effects are everyday: the typical freezing with an air conditioning designed for men, but also the collection of snow that prioritizes male journeys or, more seriously, suffering a heart attack because your symptoms are considered atypical … The credentials of this British woman? She is a writer and agitator with a corrosive humor who, among other successes, managed to place a woman (without a crown) on the British pound banknotes.

🌶️ A podcast:

It would be unfair to recommend just one episode of Recipe Cart, a sound project that manages, through cooking, to build historical memory. The space, conducted and edited by the Colombian philosopher Vanessa Villegas, talks about politics, gender, culture, migration … Villegas, based in Mexico, manages that her guests (always expert women) link topics that in the eyes of any mortal do not they would have no connection. What does coriander have to do with science? Why is the arrival of olive oil to the American continent linked to the oppression caused by the Spanish presence in colonized lands? At the end of each chapter, the listener doesn’t just end up with information that may have been previously unknown. You also want to explore everything in the kitchen.

➡️ A Twitter account to follow:

We say goodbye with a bit of self-aggrandizement, but if they don’t already, they have to follow our colleagues from EL PAÍS Fem on Twitter, an account that focuses on how feminism is advancing in the world. Directed by the gender correspondent Pilar Álvarez and the journalists Isabel Valdés and Alejandra Agudo, it is the best channel to keep abreast of all the gender news that we publish in the newspaper.

Thank you very much for joining us and until next Sunday! (If you have been sent this newsletter and want to subscribe to receive it in your email, you can do it here).


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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