Sunday 18 November 2018

'Sexist' report tells female ministers to 'flaunt their looks'

Spain's new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses with new government members following their first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain. Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera
Spain's new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses with new government members following their first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain. Photo: REUTERS/Susana Vera

James Badcock in Madrid

Spain's new socialist government has hit out at a leading Spanish newspaper's "sexist" report advising the new majority-female cabinet on how to use their feminine charms.

The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) was joined by writers, academics and social network users in castigating the conservative daily 'ABC' for running a fashion special giving the 11 new female ministers advice on how to improve their appearance, including the need to use make-up, show less cleavage and raise hemlines.

Pedro Sánchez, the new prime minister, unveiled the world's most female-dominated cabinet after he toppled the conservative Popular Party last month to sweep to power.

As outrage was building over coverage in 'ABC' yesterday, his party tweeted: "Intolerable to see this kind of reporting in the 21st century. This new government has its work cut out."

Argelia Queralt, a political observer and constitutional law lecturer at Barcelona University, responded by saying: "When we finally have a 21st-century government, along comes 'ABC' and positions itself in the middle of the 20th century."

"From the 1950s? No, it's an article from today about the women ministers", tweeted Almuena Ariza, the New York correspondent for Spain's public TVE channel, highlighting specifically comments made about Teresa Ribera, the new environment and climate change minister.

"The most shocking thing [about Ms Ribera] is her complete lack of make-up", the wearing of which the article describes as a "necessary slavery" for women.

Entitled 'The wardrobe of Pedro Sánchez's women ministers', the article directs advice at each female member of the new government, in which a record 11 women were selected by the PSOE leader out of a total of 17 ministerial posts. None of the five male ministers or Mr Sánchez have their sartorial qualities appraised.

According to advice described as "disgraceful" by the journalist and writer Carme Chaparro on her Twitter account, the new treasury minister María Jesús Montero is pictured showing some cleavage while being warned that she has such a "good chassis" that she should "tone down her curves".

In a similar vein, Industry Minister Reyes Maroto is told her skirts are "too short for someone in her post". Yet Carmen Montón, the health minister, "has a good body she should make more of". Labour Minister Magdalena Valerio also has her "chassis" commented on, but is praised for the "tasteful and stylish" turbans she wore when recovering from radiotherapy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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