Womens` Day and Equality

So, last week for those of you who noticed…the world celebrated International Womens Day and in some countries, such as the UK, also Mothers Day, though on the continent, Mothers Day is celebrated in May actually.

International Womens Day

International Womens Day- Image from google pics

Well, a few days before the event, I heard a radio presenter remark that they should have International Mens Day and one of his female guests said that it would not be possible, since Mens Day is every day!

This statement evoked some thoughts which I will share with you:

In this era of equality for everyone`s rights..wether you`re black or white, female or male, gay or straight..everyone seems to be quibbling about rights. I think that we have got it all wrong– we can never be equal because everyone is an  individual, so what politicians need to do is to ensure that people embrace differences between each other and let`s say it…unless they stop attacking immigrants for what goes wrong in their country, we`ll never get anywhere.

So, let`s focus on males and females. We are told that women have come a long way since the days when they first had the vote (thanks to the suffragettes) and were married off to have kids and tend to the husband and children and never had a say in who ruled their countries. I don`t agree! Nowadays women have taken on roles which were traditionally male ones- in the caring professions (except nursing), law, engineering, business.They have been able to get a decent education which had been denied to their female ancestors for ages and that is a great thing but women are intrinsically different to men- anatomically, physiologically and psychologically, yet we still compete against men for jobs, recognition and salary (and here we still are not equal). These days,  female humans are still getting married or hooking up with men, having their babies and managing children, home, housework and real work.

The Suffragettes

The Suffragettes

Ironically, it`s quite obvious that women (or should we say super-women) have taken more on board than their male counterparts ever will do and what have we achieved with all this? More stress which results in mental illness such as depression which then may result in separation from the children’s father which impacts on the children themselves (and no divorce lawyer can convince me of otherwise) which then grow up and take on adult roles haunted by what happened in their childhood. Politicians claim that they want more women in the workforce, more of them at senior management  and in governments and in academia but realistically, what are governments actually doing in practice to enable women to be ‘ad par’ with their male counterparts? Are they subsidising nursery care and giving women extra leave to deal with the childrens` illnesses because, unless a man is a single parent, female colleagues are the ones who have to take time off work to tend for the child if unwell. And what do we say about housework? How many men actually put in their utmost to help with the chores and if this doesn`t get done, then it`s surely the woman who appears as a careless housewife!

Case Scenario: A woman, Mary strives to get a good education, goes to Uni, gets a degree and then a post-grad.  She starts to work and likes her job. Then she finds the love of her life, John and hooks up with him and has a couple of babies. They decide to buy a house and they both know they need to work to be able to pay the mortgage, bills and give a decent education and upbringing to their kids. Mary realises that she can`t work fulltime as she needs to take care of the kids and let`s face it, her salary practically all goes to the nursery, so why is she going to work when she can stay at home and care for her kids? Mary knows that  if she does remain in work and the next promotion comes up, her boss Larry will give it to Joe, as of course he won`t get pregnant and claim maternity leave or has to work part-time and take leave every time his child gets sick and business is business no hard feelings!!

The Multitasking Woman. Image obtained from tuckertalkin.blogspot.co.uk

The Multitasking Woman. Image obtained from tuckertalkin.blogspot.co.uk

Is the above scenario familiar to you? Does it ring any bells? Know someone in a similar situation? And they say there`s equality!

In conclusion, if politicians really want to do something for modern women, as a working woman with a husband and house but no kids who regularly sees colleagues who have 1-4 children struggle desperately  and work as hard as their male colleagues (if not harder), a few tips:

1. Women living with husband or a partner should have an additional allowance for housework duties irrespective of whether she works or not.

2. Women with young children should have additional days of leave and if governments want people to have more children, then the leave should increase proportionally.

3. If politicians want more women to have top jobs, ensure that salaries are equivalent to their male counterparts first and add incentives to businesses and organizations to promote women.

4. Governments should subsidise nursery costs.

Have your say and let us know what you think…whether you`re a male or female!

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Sharing some culinary tips!

Some time ago I noticed that our meal routine was not the epitome of health and wellness styles…with the endless Tesco pizzas (served with salad mind!), quiches, a quick pasta with ready-made tomato sauce…..the occasional Chinese take-out.  To be frank, we had very busy work schedules, arriving at 7pm everyday after nearly 12 hours away from home…nerve-wrecking to say the least.!!  So what could we do whilst we were part of this ? Nothing really..and whats the point of cooking for a whole week and freezing the various bits and pieces as some family members advise, if that means you need to spend most of the weekend inside and then the week is bound to start again with you not even having had time to de-stress properly??? And the great disadvantage of this would be, what would happen if the the safety had to go off whilst we`re not at home and that means the fridge would have defrosted by the time we reached the house? You might say, well, that`s a rare occurrence, but not to us..it actually did happen to me and I did have to dispose of a great deal of meat and lovingly pre-cooked food!!

So, the opportunity to slightly enhance our quality of life arose when I changed my work schedule.

I got hold of a very handy ally..101 SIMPLE SUPPERS BBC Books Good Food Magazine..and I then started to plan the weekly meals…….an example of such a venture is:

Chez Moi -Planned Weekly Menu

Mon: Spicy Tomato Chicken

Inspect the result for yourself..I served it with potato mash…

Spicy Chicken

Spicy Chicken

Tue: Mediterranean Couscous Salad

And here you can find out whether you would fancy such a plate!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Wed: Vegetable Satay Soup

This was my special favourite!!

Vegetable Satay Soup

Vegetable Satay Soup

Thu: Paprika Pork

Hubby liked it but I`m not very much a porky person..rather prefer chicken for most of my dishes!

Paprika Pork in a bed of rice

Paprika Pork on a bed of rice

Friday: Spinach, bacon and pine-nut pappardelle.

I loved this..it`s so easy to cook and tastes divine!!

Pappardelle with Spinach, Bacon and Pine Nuts

Pappardelle with Spinach, Bacon and Pine Nuts

The advantages of the weekly plan is that you can sort all the shopping out and avoid buying extra stuff.

Also, whilst I was toiling on at this project and gaining my husband`s confidence in my culinary abilities I also decided to enter the baking world and these lovely Devil`s Chocolate cupcakes are a highlight of this!!

Delicious Devil`s Chocolate Cup-Cakes

Delicious Devil`s Chocolate Cup-Cakes

Tips for getting through the first 6 months of married life…

We have now been happily married for more than 6 months and since I generally like to read tips about anything related to life, wherever I can find them (at least those which make sense), I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips on:

Getting through the first 6 months of married life with my readers:

The Marriage Rite

The Marriage Rite

  1. Every week (even though you`re both snowed under with work or have other important matters to think about) find some quality time to spend together; whether it is just watching a movie, a soccer game, enjoying a meal out, cooking a meal together, or any activity which requires husband and wife enjoying the activity of 1-3 hours, together. Having common hobbies which you enjoy together does make this easier to achieve.
  2. Buy something for each other every month- a little gift (doesn`t need to be expensive) and if you run out of ideas, surprise your spouse!! For the wife, a bouquet of flowers from the local store is fine and for the husband, his favourite chocolate ice-cream (for my hubby it`s Magnum!)! It is important to show your appreciation for each other, not only in words but physically, in the form of a gift or anything else which springs to mind! 😉
  3. Share chores and work as a team. No one is better than the other, you are both in it together and must support each other as much as possible.
  4. Have a weekend (or a day if you can`t afford it) away together. Go to places you`ve never visited before and discover them together.
  5. Look at your wedding photos and dvd, as often as you can- they remind you of your special day and how ecstatic you both were and if you`re going through a rough patch (for any reason), this will give you the energy to continue working together as a couple and a team, an A team!

Those of you who are not married, can trial these on their partner and those single can use them as a guide!

Hope you find these tips useful! 🙂

The way to a man`s heart is…

There`s a saying which goes something like..the way to a man`s heart is through his stomach.. i.e. through good food!

Well, I guess it works the other way round too…if a man cooks well, he can conquer any woman…and yesterday hubby surprised me totally by producing some excellent home-baked bread buns (which I knew he did before I married him)!!

And here they are…

Hubby`s Home-made Bread Buns!

Hubby`s Home-made Bread Buns!

And there`s a close-up too!!

Close-up of  hubby`s home-made bread buns

Close-up of hubby`s home-made bread buns

THE IDEAL Christmas gift!

My Self-Christmas Pressie 2011!

My Self-Christmas Pressie 2011!

This may be a little cliche`- so many articles in magazines and newspapers  written at this time of the year, geared at customers trying to choose a gift for others (and for oneself). So I say, there are some basic rules which one needs to know before they set off to Christmas shopping:

1. Before you go out shopping or start your online search, you need to have a list of gifts you are going to buy.

2.Divide the list into appropriate sections- relatives, close and not so close, friends, partners, children, work colleagues etc.

3. Set a budget for each gift- min price and max price and this is final.

4. Then proceed to the shops or browse the net.

5. As you search, you may find that you can easily grab that particular item you were thinking of and the shopping goes really smoothly- however this may not be the case for every single gift.

6. If you can`t decide what to give him or her, then visualize the person, in the ambient you know him/her. Think of any recent conversations and what they had in their house or office when you last visited. Does the person dress in a particular way? Does the person have any particular likes/activities? What about gift vouchers? All these are tips which come in handy whilst selecting the ideal and dare I say likeable gift- at least this is what I do!

7. Don`t forget to buy a little something for yourself whilst you are doing the Christmas shopping, in case you don`t get any Christmas gifts this year!- I have already bought my own special Christmas pressie- A Kindle!

PS 1 I hope Mr M does not forget my present- I have not even bought his either but have come up with a little plan this week! 🙂

PS 2 This is not the actual photo of my kindle but it looks like this exactly!