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Women’s roles in 20th century in Spain Essay

Throughout history, women are rarely mentioned and are not talked about in class. They are kept aside and we tend to focus on what men have done in history and focus and their accomplishments and their failures. Scholars do not realize the importance a woman has in history and their contribution to many things that they have done over time. In Spain, women contributed a lot during the civil war, the revolutions, and basically they had a very important impact during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Because of this women’s roles have changed quite a bit from the early 1800s to the late 1900s. Spain experienced an economic and political transformation during the Spanish Revolution of the early nineteenth century, 1808 and 1843. Men in Spain were giving birth to a new gender idea that took down women’s participation in the social and political transformations that were taking place. While the public and political jobs were for the male worker, women were left at home to do house shores. By the middle of the nineteenth century Spain was a world of separate principles, women stayed at home and men went out to work.

There were strict rules for women to follow too, married women were to obey their husbands and if they disobeyed they could be fined or incarcerated. However, Spain’s changeover to democracy in the twentieth century brought many social changes to women and to the country. The new reforms challenged traditional family obligations and the relationship of men and women. In comparison to other European nations, Spain has become a modern industrial country with many benefits; however those benefits are mostly for men’s jobs. Although Spain is moving quickly on the way to advanced financial and democratic development, it’s still stuck on old cultural and religious ideas that keep women from moving upward in today’s society. In many Spanish marriages today, the gender division of labor is still present. There are many differences in the Spanish household activities. Wives do the greater part of the daily cleaning, cooking, and the regular house shores. Women still spend more of their time in the house doing family work, while men spend their time at their jobs. The causes for these behaviors may be related to cultural and traditional religious beliefs. In the 1980s, Spanish women did away with the cultural and religious barriers that kept them at home.

During the 1980s there was a woman in every job position in Spain, although they were not in great numbers. Today, the traditional role of mother and housekeeper still lead women’s occupation in Spain, however the Government Women Institute show that a quarter of the women in Spain work outside of home. Despite the rising awareness of women’s rights, the ideas are still new to Spanish women. They still have the ideas of when the Nationalists won the Spanish Civil War in 1939. After the Civil War the Franco regime created laws on social control through the authority of males. The Catholic Church supported these laws and both they and the dictatorship encouraged traditional gender roles by placing restrictions on women’s economic, social and reproductive freedoms. The Catholic Church played an important part in establishing principles about gender and family relations and like the church, the Franco regime also played an important role in women’s duties. The Francoist regime approved a doctrine of the perfect housewife. Under the doctrine all women were required to take a six-month training program to learn about Francoist citizenship.

Under the Franco regime women have dealt with a great disadvantage in Spain’s society, however, their role in Spanish society has changed rapidly thanks to Franco’s death in 1975. A legislative democracy was established after Franco’s death and Spain’s transition to a democratic society brought a lot of social changes to the country. In the 1970s and 1980s, women’s rights and independence from traditional family life bettered in many ways. Women now gained the legal right to a divorce, birth control, abortion and got paid maternity leave even if they were not married. Couples today have one or two children, a big change from back in the days when couples had eight to ten children. Women and men obtained equal rights under the Constitution and married women gained similar tax and social rights as men.

Women now looked for employment and educational opportunities. Today Spanish women are more educated than men and are more likely to complete college. However, Spanish women still face similar problems as women do in the rest of Europe, their progress at work is often slowed down and their pay is often lower than men’s. Women in Spain have dealt with many reforms and many changes. They are still catching up with the new laws and are taking advantage of the liberties they now posses. From the nineteenth century to the twentieth century, Spain has come from better to worst to better, and with them women’s freedoms. Spanish women’s roles have changed, and with those changes their future has changed as well. Women enjoy more freedom, liberties, economic prosperity and men have benefited from the opportunities that women now have in their hands by easing our daily life, “our future, is in THEIR hands.”

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