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Maira Bes Rastrollo, Professor at the University of Navarra and mentor of the Women for Science and Technology program.

Silvia Carlos Chilleron, Professor at the University of Navarra and mentor of the Women for Science and Technology program.

International Women's Day: equality begins at home

On the occasion of this March 8, International Women's Day, the first thing to do is to wish all women "Happy Working Women's Day". Because all women in this world, to a greater or lesser extent, are working women.

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:17:00 +0000 Published in News Journal

In our case, this celebration gives us the opportunity to share with all of them the experience we have lived as women workers and scientists in Navarra. First of all, we must say that we feel privileged to have a work and to be able to develop a degree program in a field that we are passionate about: research and teaching.

In addition, to the hours of work and effort required to carry out a quality research ; to the preparation of classes and attention to students, we add another no less demanding task that is the gift of being mothers.

Of course, we cannot deny the daily difficulties involved in being working women and mothers. It is not always easy to reconcile degree program professional and family -even less so when, as in our case, we have to add the impossibility of calling on the "long-suffering" grandparents, who are more than 700 kilometers away... -. Needless to say that, on more than one occasion, we have experienced conflicting feelings in the balance between family andwork. But who said it was going to be easy?

For both of us, result it has been vital to organize ourselves well in these two areas and to have, when necessary and possible, a certain degree of labor flexibility, even though there is still a long way to go if we compare ourselves with the initiatives in the Nordic countries.

In the field of work-life balance, our experience cannot be counted without the other half of the family. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our husbands for their unconditional support, who are our traveling companions and fundamental pillars of our professional careers.

They also reconcile going to pick up the children at high school, take care of the shopping, do the housework -not helping with it...- and at the same time work as we do. That is why it is fair to break a spear in favor of all those men who trust in the capabilities of women and give them all their support, considering and putting in internship firmly equality in all areas.

This has been the case with both of our mentors - both men - whom we would like to thank for helping us to bring out the potential we have as scientists. They trusted us from the very beginning and treated us on an equal footing with our male colleagues. After all, a woman should be able to develop all her capabilities under the same conditions of opportunity as a man, so that she can reach positions of responsibility on the basis of her worth, not by virtue of any quota.

Equality, as we conceive it, begins in the family home. From there it is transmitted to all members of the family by example. In the same way, we believe, it should be transmitted in all areas (educational, legal, labor, etc.).

Finally, this celebration of March 8, although there is still a long way to go, also represents an opportunity to thank all the working women who came before us for their efforts. To our mothers and grandmothers, who with their daily work -many in difficult times- brought their families forward. And, of course, to the men who were able to defend women's rights.

Let us never forget that a woman is no worse, or better, just because she is a woman.