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8th March is marked on the calendar as an important opportunity to promote equal rights for women, as it is International Women’s Day, when we commemorate women’s struggle for equal participation in society. Historically, this struggle has gone on in the background, but now, in the 21st century, women are more determined than ever to assert their rights in all spheres of life, including roles like the ones played by a female operator. It is hardly surprising that their role in the fight against COVID-19 has only further highlighted the disproportionate burdens they have to bear and their fundamental importance in coping with them.
But although a day has been set aside for making these demands, it is day-to-day life that provides the measure of real progress towards equality. Hundreds of millions of women have taken on jobs that once seemed to be the sole preserve of men, and it is this effort that has dismantled prejudices and preconceptions in those environments. Nowadays there are many professions where women have proved their worth, and today we want to find out what the day-to-day life of a female line operator is like.
This insight is provided by Karla Zavala, an assembly line operator at Ormazabal, a company that specialises in customisable hi-tech solutions for electrical infrastructure. Karla works at Ormazabal’s premises in Igorre, Vizcaya, and she does so in a world where the presence of women, although they are still in the minority, is growing steadily. This situation has proved to be an incentive for Karla, who explains in detail how she ended up working in this sector and her view of women’s position and role in the industry, both now and in the future.
Women represent around 25% of the industrial workforce in Spain, as compared with an EU average of approximately 28%. Another noteworthy figure is the number of women enrolled in science, technology, engineering and maths degrees: 35% of the total, according to the London School of Economics (LSE).
If there is a year marked in red to achieve significant progress in terms of equality between men and women, then that year is 2030. According to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, this is the year by which a set of Sustainable Development Goals should be accomplished, including SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Despite all the progress that has been made, many difficulties have yet to be overcome, especially in the workplace, where the glass ceiling remains a stumbling block for women.
That is why many governments, companies and social agents have committed themselves to treating the year 2030 as a short-medium term deadline by which to turn these situations around and make gender equality a reality, a goal we must all make an effort to achieve together.
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