Widely shared on Twitter, the statements by Salvadora Mateos, a socialist and self-proclaimed feminist, have drawn strong criticism from Spanish and Moroccan internet users, who have blasted the policy for its “misogyny” and “racism”.
“In Ceuta, especially housewives, we look forward to the [Moroccan] the arrival of the maid,” the Spanish official said. [Getty]
“We are impatiently awaiting the arrival of ‘good’ Moroccan women to help us clean up,” Spain’s delegate to Ceuta said, in a ‘classist’, ‘misogynist’ and ‘racist’ comment that drew strong criticism. criticism from Spaniards and Moroccans.
After the recent Moroccan-Spanish reconciliation, the borders of Ceuta should soon open. The Spanish-controlled city, which closed its borders last year after April’s infamous immigration crisis, has provided jobs for more than 20,000 Moroccan workers, most of whom are cleaners .
“In Ceuta, especially housewives, we look forward to the [Moroccan] muchacha (means girl or maid in Spanish), I tell you, starting with me, that working here in the morning and cleaning in the afternoon is difficult,” said Salvadora Mateos, the Spanish envoy to Cueta , EFE reported on Tuesday.
The delegada del Gobierno in Ceuta laments el cierre de la frontera porque “las amas de casa estamos deseando que venga la muchacha” https://t.co/qyDHKCxJVY pic.twitter.com/i3WZRSsvVi
— EL MUNDO (@elmundoes) April 5, 2022
“Unacceptable”, “embarrassing” and “classist”, this is how several Spanish politicians reacted to the official’s statement.
“These are embarrassing and classist statements that also place Mateos in a very low position in the human category,” said Aina Vidal of En Comú Podem, a left-wing coalition.
“Unacceptable and inappropriate statements by a member of the government”, in particular from “a government which calls itself feminist”, added Cuca Gamarra, the parliamentary spokesperson for the conservative People’s Party (PP).
Guillermo Díaz, deputy of the liberal Ciudadanos party, reminded Mateos that “the lack of housekeepers is not the most serious thing that has happened during the migration crisis”, because “there are people who drown” and there are “security forces that have been attacked”.
Widely shared on Twitter, the self-proclaimed feminist politician’s remarks sparked strong criticism among Spanish and Moroccan netizens, who lambasted the politician for her “misogyny” and “racism”, while others called for her suspension so “she has more time to clean her house”.
Salvadora Mateos @DGobiernoCeuta toda máscara tiene un agujero y es por ahi donde escapa la verdad. Hipocresía y classicism puro.
عندما تسقط الأقنعة وتتعرى الوجوه… https://t.co/odcF1UD1fY
— Sabah صباح 🌍🕊️ (@Sabah_Yacoubi) April 5, 2022
The statements also sparked a debate over the low wages paid to Moroccan housekeepers in the Spanish-controlled territory.
“Why didn’t you hire a Spanish cleaner? Because you can’t afford it?” tweeted a user in Spanish.
A 2018 report by the Association for Human Rights in Andalusia, entitled “Housemaids in Ceuta”, noted that “Moroccan domestic workers suffer from various types of violations, as they do not receive the legal minimum wage , they work without a contract, and they are subjected to violence in some cases.”
“I was paid 200 euros a month, for endless hours of cleaning and cooking. I was young and it was the only job I could find to support my family,” said Hasna, a woman 40 years old living in Tetouan.
At a recent press conference, Héctor Gómez, spokesman for Mateos’ party, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), dodged questions related to his colleague’s statement, focusing his statement on the importance of strengthening links with Rabat in different sectors, including labor and transit.