Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I have nothing against International Days per se – as long as they are used to highlight a worthwhile cause. The International Women’s Day would get my nod, the International Day of Dwile-flonking a raspberry.

The International Women’s Day celebrated its 100 th anniversary this year. The original proposal was put forward by German socialist Clara Zetkin at the first international women’s conference held in Copenhagen in 1910 and became an established event in the following year – so I guess next year is an anniversary too.

I should state here that I do not support women’s rights or Gay rights or any other such pressure group. Before you leap to your keyboards in fury let me explain further. I happen to believe that we are all equal regardless of sex, race, colour or creed. So I support equal rights for all.

I have written here before that sexual inequality by and large passed me by. My first job was in the Civil Service and my third then subsequent employment has been in the media. In both of those women were either my superiors or colleagues and I have been privileged to work with many extremely talented women over those years. The only exception was in my second job in a City of London institution where the women were in the porn mags kept in my section boss’s locker.

In the present economic crisis I have found that a woman’s lot is not a happy one even compared with the tough time being endured by many men. For instance in the two areas of Spain that attract my attention most – the Campo de Gibraltar/Cádiz and Ronda – I study closely the monthly unemployment figures. In both locations the number of women on the dole exceeds the total for men.

In Spain women also tend to have less secure employment being channelled in to temporary rather than indefinite contracts. In the latest figures from the INI of the 2,470,700 workers who are on part time contracts in the last quarter 1,917,800 were women, that’s 101,800 more than in the three months previous. In addition currently 19.07 per cent of all women in the job market are on the dole.

Nor is this acute problem being addressed by the Spanish government in its efforts to kick-start the economy. The main socialist focus is on pumping money in to the property and construction industries. However few women workers are employed there and the largest amount of female unemployed come from the hard-hit services sector which is largely ignored.

So it is perhaps apt that we should celebrate International Women’s Day at this time given their plight in the labour market. As the impetus for this day came from a socialist woman perhaps the message of their plight will fall on the open ears of the many women who are currently ministers in the socialist Spanish Government. Indeed none more so than Elena Salgado who is in charge of the country’s economy! Perhaps a time for women to start doing it for themselves!


Anonymous said...

As a dwile-flonker of some standing (1956 Junior Champion of Puddleton-under-Mire) I strongly resent your attitude towards this noble and ancient spurt. I also resent that you don't know that International Dwile-flonking day on February 30th, established in 1926! Check your fax!
About women I know nothing.

PROSPERO said...

In Spain it was celebrated as Día de la Mujer Trabajadora, which your excellent piece makes extremely ironic...