17 January 2018


·         Low-cost airlines have become more popular across the world.
·         Construction of more airports even in small cities, and having a better technology in airplanes has led people to have access to them even in remote areas.
·         The tourism industry has developed globally. More affordable hotels, motels, villas are available for travellers.
·         Advanced technology and the Internet, arranging of travelling has become far simpler (Online booking).
·         The role of advertisement has become more obvious. The Internet and media have exposed people to more travelling ads.
·         Globalisation has increased the number of business travellers.
·         The number of student travellers has increased dramatically. Better opportunity in other countries has raised the number of student visitors.
·         Faster jets have caused travellers to reach their destination far sooner, leading their number being increased phenomenally.
·         Employees of multinational companies have to do excessive business trips to other regional offices or even in other continents for office works, meeting and training.
·         More people are travelling for leisure activities and this phenomenon has grown speedily in the past few years.
·         Travelling is now affordable to virtually all classes of people and people have taken travelling as a leisure activity.
·         Because of globalization, people are free to mingle with other nationalities and that’s why people are migrating to other countries for works, study and job opportunities.
·         The mobile phone, the internet and the facility to work virtually from any place let people get in touch with office and family while travelling and this is another important reason for people to travel a lot.

Today more people are travelling than ever before. Why is this the case? What are the benefits of travelling for the traveller?

Gone are the days when people used to spend all their lives in the same city and the tour was a word for rich people only. Now, with the technological advancements, cheaper flight, and ever increasing awareness towards other states and countries, the world has become a smaller place. Having travelled since childhood, I can definitely say that the tourism industry is changing fast and this is attracting a lot more travellers each year. This essay delves into the reasons behind increasing travellers and benefits of travelling.  
Firstly, people want to get refreshed quite often due to their increasing workload and they have easy access to information they want. These are the two main reasons people travel more frequently than ever before. It is evident that busier workdays and the hectic lifestyle can easily drain one out. People have started to work more and earn more as compared to earlier days. Also, with the wave of information that the internet has brought, everyone is better informed about the world outside their office or home. These things have acted as precursors to the increase in the number of people who opt travelling as a holiday get away.   
Second, tourism is taken very seriously in several countries now. Countries like Australia and France have travel & tourism as an important part of their economy. Tourism contributes to around  30%  of the national GDP for Dubai. Thus, people have started picking up careers in the realm of tourism, as travel bloggers, trip organisers, etc. I myself have met people who travel for a living and love doing so. These factors have also led to accrual in the travelling population.  
I believe travelling exposes us to different people and their traditions, outside or even within a country. India itself is a collection of myriad customs, flavours and languages. Visiting places one has never been to and meeting people with different beliefs broadens our perspectives. Introduction to different cultures catalyses respect towards the mutual differences. It helps us understand people in a new light, which can be very helpful to alleviate tensions during political or cultural conflicts.  
In a nutshell, I would say that travelling is equivalent to education. It can bring people closer to each other despite their differences, which is very important in today’s global world. 



·         Intercultural understanding. Nations are able to understand more about other nations’ culture, language and customs from near.
·         The tourism industry has become a lucrative business for many countries.
·         Increasing employment opportunity for the host country.
·         Citizens have less stressful lifestyle by travelling more. They temporarily leave stress and have more relaxation.
·         Travelling enhances knowledge and broadens our horizon.
·         Travelling gives the first-hand experience to learn new things.
·         Makes people confident, more social and self-dependant.
·         During the course of a travel, a traveller might experience unforeseen circumstances and thus he becomes stronger in dealing stress and unexpected situations.
·         Enhance job and business opportunities.
·         Travelling can shift our outlook of life in a better way and gives us more idea about the way of life around the world.
·         Travellers get to taste different types of foods, clothing, cultures, environment and living.
·         Exposure to diverse cultures and custom often eradicate the narrow thinking and selfishness of people.
·         A traveller with international exposure can have a better career path.
·         Travelling is a far better way to learn about the past and history than reading them in a book.
·         Travelling is refreshing and eliminates the monotony or boredom of busy life we currently have in the competitive world. 

       There are plenty of things one can gain from exploring different places such as new friends, new experiences and new stories. When you start exploring new places, you get a better understanding of the people living there including their culture, history and background.

       Studies show that travelling can improve your overall health and enhance your creativity. Therefore, you need to take time out from your daily tasks, office responsibilities, hectic schedule and everyday pressures at least once in a year. Plan a tour to a new city with an open schedule and let life present you with the numerous opportunities that are waiting for you.

       If you need more convincing, here is a list of all the benefits of traveling.

     1. Improves Social and Communication Skills
        One of the main benefits of travelling, especially to areas where your native language is not widely used, is that you learn how to communicate with all manner of different people. It could be communicating to find the way to your next destination or asking for the nearest restaurant.

     2. Ensures Peace of Mind

       We all have stress and tension in our lives. Traveling forces us to temporarily disconnect from our normal routine and it helps us appreciate the people and things you have around. As per a famous saying “we never know what we have until we lose it.”

     3. Helps you Get Original and Creative Thoughts

        It is believed that if someone gets out of their comfort zone, the mind gets more creative. To develop new neural connections that trigger original and creative thoughts, you must explore new places and break out of your daily lifestyles.

     4. Broadens Your Horizons

       Travelling helps you connect with different people from different cultures, and this is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Meeting people from different cultures and societies will help you see issues and daily life from many different angles.

     5. Enhances your Tolerance for Uncertainty

       While travelling, you will find yourself stuck in situations where things don’t always go as planned. Such situations will help you learn to cope with the uncertainties in life.

     6. Boosts Up your Confidence:

        Being in a place where you do not know anyone will assist you to gain confidence and presence of mind. You will develop the ability to cope with obstacles, which will make you a confident person and help you grow as a person.

     7. Gets you Real-life Education

       Meeting different people from vast cultures and societies provides an education that is impossible to get in a traditional school, college or a university. There is no substitute for the real thing.

     8. Creates Memories for Lifetime

        If you travel with friends and family members, traveling helps you build stronger bonds and make memories. You can also save memories of a lifetime by creating photo albums or sharing photos in social media.

     9. Helps you Have Fun

        No matter how young or old you are, no matter your profession, there is always a time when the child in you wants to have some fun. When you travel, you do not care what you do at all and you can just break free from the norm.

     10. Aids you Get to Know Yourself

       While traveling, you might find yourself stuck in situations you would not ordinary experience in your daily life. Such a situation can help you understand yourself and how you react to such circumstances and prepare you for future similar situations.
       Although traveling offers many benefits, it also has some disadvantages if not planned carefully. If you are a patient and taking medication for a disease, do not forget to carry your medication. Keeping jet lag pills handy saves you from unnecessary discomfort.

     Those susceptible to allergies should carry allergy medication. Plan your tour in advance, prepare a checklist to keep yourself healthy while traveling and pack important items before you travel.
     Travelling is good for the health so decide a place now and pack your bags. Remember, you only live once, so start traveling to different places and get some life-altering experiences.




Do you remember travelling with your family during your school summer holidays as a kid?  Those massive aluminum trunks being dragged from the taxi to the station platform, endless bags of gifts for cousins, large tiffin boxes brimming with enough food to feed a small country and your entire family coming to see you off at the railway station for a month-long holiday.
Cut to today. There’s a long weekend coming up, you open an app on your smart phone, decide where you want to go, book your flights and hotels in under ten minutes and before you know it, you’re all set for your quick weekend getaway.
Technology has undoubtedly changed the face of travel and made travelling so much easier. Let’s look back and see how travel has changed over the years:
Deciding Your Destination
Then: Back in the pre-Internet days (aka the Stone Age), you’d be pouring over holiday brochures at a travel agent’s office, buying guidebooks or taking a friend’s recommendation when it came to deciding where to go.
Now: Today, it could be a popular travel blog, a travel show on TV, social media, or even your friend’s Facebook photos that spark off your wanderlust and inspires you to travel.
Booking the Flight/Train
Then: Remember those snaking queues at railway stations where you stood, months before your trip, sweating, swatting away flies and impatiently shifting your weight from one leg to another, just to book a train ticket? Or visiting Malhotra Uncle’s travel agency in Connaught Place to get you a good deal on an air fare?
Now: Thankfully it’s much easier now. All you need to do is go online, hunt for the best flight/rail deals, check travel review sites and in a few taps, your bookings are done.  
Booking the Hotel
Then: Back then you’d go through hotel brochures, ask friends where they stayed during their holiday and then actually phone the hotel to book a room (Remember calling someone instead of texting? Yes, that!) All the while, you were never entirely sure of what your hotel room looked like. For all you know, you could end up in Bates Motel and never be the wiser!  
Now: Online booking engines and recommendation sites are the simplest, and often most reliable ways, to not only book a hotel, but also be sure of the location, what your room looks like, the amenities offered.  And nowadays with home sharing communities online, you can even stay with a local, get great recommendations on what to see and where to eat, and even make new friends!

Learning Local Language

Then: Back in the day you’d carry a phrasebook on holiday, struggle with broken Spanish or Italian, give up and basically end up miming that you want to go to the loo.
Now: Today all you need is a smartphone (which, unless you’re living under a rock, you do!) with apps like Google Translate, iTranslate or Waygo installed, to help you interact with the locals with perfect ease.

Clicking Photographs

Then: You’d be at the Eiffel Tower with your family, waiting for someone who looked honest enough to not steal your camera to stop and ask to click a photo. Plus, you only had thirty-six photos on one reel, so you had to think twice before taking a picture. Once you were back home, you’d have all the photographs printed, display them in an album to visiting relatives who’d murmur polite comments about how good the place looked while sipping chai.
Now: This is the age of camera phones and selfie sticks, so no more waiting around for someone to pass by to click your picture. Take a selfie at the Eiffel, upload it instantly on Facebook and watch the comments and likes pour in.

Staying in Touch

Then: While on the go, you’d send back pretty postcards, write letters and occasionally splurge on that long-distance phone call from the hotel reception, or a local phone booth. Staying in touch certainly wasn’t easy and most people back home didn’t expect to hear from you unless it was an emergency.
Now: Free WiFi hotspots at airports and cafés make it so easy to e-mail, Skype and Tweet as much and as often as you like. Get yourself a local 3G connection and check in wherever you go because, hey, if it’s not online, it didn’t really happen!  
Travel has come a long way and it only seems to be getting faster, quicker and better. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that smart phone, download the MakeMyTrip app and book your next holiday now!  

14 January 2018


These days many people are taking up sport as a way to get fit or deal with stress, but some of them are taking it too far, to the point that they are not healthy any more.

On the one hand, there is a certain amount of people who have become addicted and that is due to the fact that exercise shares similarities with drug-taking behavior. Moreover, addicted people are taking performance-enhancement drugs even though they don’t need them, but they want more and more. Personally, I reckon that this is not healthy at all, they are pushing their body to the limit and this can have bad health consequences. 

On the other hand, there are many people who are overweight because they are always lying on the sofa and not exercising at all. In my opinion, people with this eating disorder are as sick as addicts. 

On the whole, no extreme is good, the key is to find the right balance between our normal life and exercise to be completely healthy and happy with ourselves. 
Gabriel Pons 


It is a well-known fact that doing exercise is essential to have a healthy life. However, when it becomes an obsession, it can have negative consequences. 

To start with , as I said before, practicing sport has lots of benefits such as improving our cardiovascular system, it helps us to lose weight, but it’s important to practice it regularly as it will give us energy for our daily life. Secondly, I feel very strongly that the practice of sport should be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, we should have a balanced and varied diet and eat moderately. However, it is clear to me that for sure we can sometimes treat ourselves to a good pizza or even fast-food, but not regularly. 

Last but not least, as far as I’m concerned, the obsession with sport and having the perfect physical appearance is really bad, as it can lead us to some serious disorders such as bigorexia or even taking supplements such as steroids which can be dangerous. 

In a nutshell, from my point of view it’s really necessary to do sport but regulating it, not in excess and for sure essentially eat well. 
Gonzalo Sintes


It is widely known that working out frequently is necessary for our body, and due to this, lots of people start to exercise to maintain their health and disconnect from their work and household problems. But, what we don’t know is that they might become addicted to it. 

Many people do a lot of sport and then, when they are at home, they are still thinking about it, and despite seeing it as a hobby, now it has become a need, so every day they workout longer. Consequently, they can’t stop and their goal is to go further and further. 

Another reason is that some amateur people take performance-enhancement drugs to improve their marks or achieve their goals. For instance, an average runner who is not well-prepared to finish a marathon, may take them. 

To sum up, sport is necessary, but it shouldn’t become a need, therefore, we have to practice it appropriately and moderately as a way to relax. 
Rafel Andreu 


These days, processed food takes an important role in our lives. We can find it pretty much everywhere, although in a rather more unhealthy way. But the important question is what its scope is. 

Firstly, it is a well-known fact that it will be crucial for the future. Scientists claim that there will come a time when population will have increased and so will the effects of the climate change, which will mean lack of essentials such as proteins. To survive, we will have to rely on science. 

Secondly, there are definitely more people who have changed their lifestyle and have become vegetarian or vegan. They are sending a clear message, they want food which does no harm, neither to the animals nor the Earth. Here’s why, to be healthy, there must be processed food which guarantees their demand. 

In a nutshell, to my mind, I strongly believe that it will be very helpful in the future to stay healthy as long as research finds a way to stop overusing damaging products. What’s more, finds salutary ones as a substitute to produce our meals. Despite that, I think that this will make natural food non-affordable. 


These days, processed food is a much-talked about topic because more and more people worry about what they eat. Lots of them only eat ecological food and they are even vegan. 

In my opinion, I think that processed food is a good option to fight hunger in the world, because with some chemical treatment we can lengthen the good state of food and therefore we extend its shelf-life. 

However, not all aspects of processed food are good, because nowadays, industries genetically modify the natural state of food and this implies the introduction of chemicals, gases or even the removal of vitamins or fiber from food. I think that we should be careful with what we buy and we should try to eat ecological food without sweeteners or additives to improve our quality of life. In some cases, such as milk, processing food is necessary for safe human consumption. 

In conclusion, I think that processed food is a good option to end world hunger, but we have to keep in mind that we aren’t eating natural food so we have to prevent its abuse.


It is well known that we live in a technology era, if we compare life in the past to our lives at present we realize that we depend on technology for most of the activities we do. Young people especially use technological devices all day long and even cannot live without them.

I personally think that this technological dependence will increase in the future. More and more robots are being developed to help in our daily lives, consequently it will be a normal thing to live surrounded by these machines.

Furthermore, in my opinion thanks to technological development, our quality of life will improve. Human beings will not have to perform physically demanding tasks anymore because machines will be in charge of that; moreover robots will be there to make our lives more comfortable.

In conclusion, our future will be better because we will have easier lives thanks to technology although we will depend too much on it; so technology can be a positive thing as long as it works properly, the moment machines break down, our lives might be crazy.
Pere Linares


There is a question you will have surely asked yourself sometime: how far will technology evolve and how will this affect us in our lives? If that is the case keep reading. There are many types of evolving, but one thing is clear, the day will come when we will hardly have to work. However, we will have money and time and that is what matters.

Can you imagine waking up whenever you want and do what you really want to do during the whole day? I believe this day is not as far as we think, it is just behind the corner. And this includes robots doing your housework, applications in your smartphone through which you can control every single home appliance, autonomous electric cars that allow you to go anywhere …

Are you still afraid of the future? It is true that someday artificial intelligence will appear, it may or not be a problem. It doesn't really matter anyway, because we have always had problems throughout history and have come out victorious. So, why should it be different this time? Because now it is your turn to solve the problem? That is not an excuse to be afraid of such a future that is waiting for us.
Sara Vilches 


As far I am concerned, travelling is one of the most common hobbies among young people. Travellers who have visited different countries have different points of view and they are usually more open minded.

First of all, travelling is not just visiting and staying in a country and moving on to the next destination, it is much more than this. It consists of visiting a place with its own history and culture, that makes you look towards the past, contemplating buildings, monuments, pictures and of course, a different landscape, which you are not used to looking at. Secondly, it is a way to share beautiful moments with your family or friends and if you are travelling alone it is a good way to think about yourself. In addition, staying abroad lets you improve your abilities and learn something new about the local language. Nevertheless, people should not forget where they come from.

To sum up, visiting new countries makes travellers better people and these experiences help them to be open-minded because they have learnt new stuff from different places and other ways of life. 

Alberto Sintes

Travelling is a very common hobby but many people think that they cannot afford it.

Personally, I think that nowadays, economic problems are not a hindrance to go on a trip because there are many options that help you to be able to visit many cities around the world. For example, there are applications and web pages that allow you to spend a weekend anywhere for a fixed price. Moreover, with the help of the internet, you can look for the cheapest ticket or choose the most beautiful destinations. 

Another reason is that it is not necessary to travel in a traditional way because now there are train tickets that allow you to discover different cities in a month or digital platforms that allow you to swap your house with other people. 

It is clear that using new technologies, we can travel and visit the best cities. We just have to improvise and be original, look for new adventures and experiences. All we need is time and be willing to travel. 

Paula Llopis 

Going on an Interrail trip is getting more and more popular every year among young students. This is a growing controversial topic among people who think that teenagers are not ready to take such a trip while others say that young people need this kind of experience.

Firstly, it is widely known that travelling opens your mind due to the contact you have with other cultures and traditions. Taking into account that with the Interrail pass you can visit 30 different countries around Europe, I think ti is really worth it. Secondly, this kind of trip is really cheap because youngsters move around by train and spend the night at cheap hostels. Thirdly, travelling for three weeks without your parents or anyone who takes care of you is a good way to become independent and start facing problems you will have to face in the near future. Lastly, it is also true that for some people, being alone for three weeks would be too much and wouldn’t be ready for it.

To conclude, in my view, Interrail is a really important and useful experience and I strongly believe that everybody should do it at least once in their life.

Toni Mercadal


In Britain, more and more teenagers are considering the British trend of taking a gap year between high school and college. Not only can a gap year be taken at this moment but, in my opinion, I think that it’s the best time to do it because most teenagers at this age aren’t sure about what they want to study or what they want to do with their future yet. So a gap year can help them resolve these problems. 

Although many people believe that a gap year means wasting one year, it’s not true because most teenagers who have decided to live this experience end up working. Personally, I believe that a gap year gives you the opportunity to travel to a foreign country, get a first experience job or volunteer abroad. Moreover, many students are not aware of how the rest of the world live, and traveling to other places will help them to mature. 

All in all, I completely agree with this British trend. To my mind, it doesn’t have any disadvantages because students will learn how important a college degree is.

Sara Pons


Global warming is a phenomenon that has existed for a few centuries, but started to be important some years ago when scientists really started to investigate it and people became more interested in it. What’s the matter of this problem? That it’s happening now and it isn’t something easy to change.

Firstly, from my point of view, people aren’t really aware about that problem, if everybody started to take it seriously, we would be able to change many problems that are causing it. Secondly, I believe that we should raise awareness among children about how important it is to take care of our planet. Finally, years ago everybody thought that it was fine and everything wouldn’t change so fast, but now such thoughts are not possible because, as I said before, it is happening at present.

All in all, I wish everything changed, that people became more interested in modifying it, that bad policies started to be good ones and this problem began to be more important, but maybe it is too idealistic.
Isabel de Olives 


Nowadays it is very common to associate consumerism to a bad thing or idea. Nevertheless, in my opinion, it isn’t a hundred per cent good or bad.

It’s true that consumerism has lots of bad points. Firstly, some factory workers earn low salaries for an inhuman number of working hours. Secondly, there is the environmental effect. It is known that creating new things has a bad effect on the environment and global warming increases. Finally, we are aware that a lot of useful products are thrown away. On the other hand, however, we need consumerism to make the society grow and progress. Another important point is that it generates employment. Finally, the new technologies are helping a lot to dissolve or reduce the bad points.

In conclusion, consumerism is neither a hundred per cent good or bad. It has good and bad points, but we need it to progress, so we should do our best to dissolve its bad points. 

Abel Romero

3 July 2017


TEST 1     TEST 1- KEY
TEST 2     TEST 2- KEY
TEST 3     TEST 3- KEY
TEST 4     TEST 4- KEY

12 May 2017

Sweatshops aren't too bad?

This question is regarding the discussion of arguments for and against sweatshops. Sweatshops are defined by International Labor Rights Forum, as an organization that violates two or more labor laws (2013).These laws could be those concerning wages, working hours, working conditions, safety and disciplinary methods implemented. Workers in sweatshop are claimed to be beaten, tortured, and even sexually harassed in occasion. However, many argue in defense of sweatshops that even though they violate these laws, they bring more benefit than harm over long term. While others are resolute that’ sweatshops should be abolished due to their deplorable conditions.
First and foremost, the predominant argument against sweatshop is that sweatshops exploit workers by paying them unconscionable wages. Especially, the wages paid by Multinational corporations(MNEs) operating in Third world countries are relatively low compared to wages paid for similar job in their home countries.For instance, ILRF website (2013) indicates 3.5 million workers in Bangladeshemployed in garment factories exporting to Europe and North America earn about US$10 a week. It is argued that sweatshops workers are trapped in an awful cycle of poverty due to exploitation and could barely afford daily expenses such as shelter, healthcare and their nutritional need.
In accordance with Immanuel Kant’s ethics, opponents of sweatshop dispute the arguments justifying unconscionable wages by asserting that sweatshop sweatshops overlook human dignity and human rights (Kant1971, p273). Immanuel Kant states that human beings should never be treated as means to an end, in fact they must be treated as ends itself (Kant 1971,p273).Kant’s Reformulation of Second Categorical Imperative emphasizes on humans beings as the most important aspect and stresses that MNEs should not make use of inexpensive labor available in developing nations.
However, this is justified by organizations, using the argument that corporations are attempting to minimize the cost of production as low as possible, by using cheap labor available due to the abundance of supply and exchange rate variant factors. Moreover, by setting up sweatshops, companies has distinct advantages such as specialization, rapid expansion capacity, reduction in production cost, increase in product cycle time and manufacturing flexibilities (Arnold & Bowie 2003, p223). This is supported by the Shareholders Theory that enunciates that the key characteristics of sustainability of any organization are through profit maximization, consequently maximizing shareholder wealth. As a firm is set up by those who have monetary share in it, the firm’s only resolution should be to serve the need and interest of these owners as the shareholders are reliant on their investment to procure return. As such, a firm has an obligation to ensure production at the least cost by any means available for maximum return.
In addition, Matt Zwolenski argued in Learn Liberty Website (2012) that sweatshops help the poor to escape poverty. The workers in developing nations find sweatshop the best income option available. This is due to the fact that sweatshops in countries such as Bangladesh and African nations tend to pay three to seven times higher than any other employments available in their economy. Zwolenski claims that’ sweatshops are a form of mutually advantageous exploitation between the workers and the employees. The wages enable the workers to sustain a better living condition than what would have been provided by other local industries. He also defend sweatshop on the grounds that relatively poorly paid jobs are better than no jobs at all.

6 May 2017


Belgium and France have banned the Burqa and the new Dutch government is considering doing the same.  Critics have charged that the ban is religiously intolerant, some even claim that it’s intolerant of women, but the truth is that the Burqa is dangerous to women. Both those who wear it—and those who don’t.
1. The Burqa Covers Up Abuse
Countries where the Burqa is commonly worn also have higher rates of domestic violence.  In Afghanistan 87 percent of women reported experiencing domestic violence. In Pakistan that number goes as high as 90 percent. Domestic violence is also a major problem in Saudi Arabia.
In cases of domestic abuse, the Burqa doesn’t just isolate the woman, it also covers up evidence of the abuse. It gives the abuser the freedom to brutalize his partner without worrying that anyone will even notice.
This is an especially vital issue in Europe, where spousal abuse is a serious crime, and the abuser has more motivation than ever to cover it up. The Burqa successfully isolates abuse victims, cuts them off from any prospective support networks and prevents anyone on the outside from even realizing what is being done to them.
The Muslim community has been in denial about its rates of domestic abuse. The Burqa is one reason why. It’s easier not to see abused women, when they are segregated and the marks of their abuse are kept out sight.
2.  The Burqa Justifies Sexual Assault on Women Who Don’t Wear It
In response to a gang rape, the Chief Mufti of Australia said, "If she was in her room, in her home, in her Hijab, no problem would have occurred." By wearing the Burqa or Hijab, women participate in a narrative that gives rapists a pass for sexual assaults on women who don’t dress the way the Mufti or Imam says they should.
The Koran gives a similar justification for a head to toe covering for women, “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies that they may thus be distinguished and not molested.” (Koran 33:59)
This distinction between women who can be ‘molested’ and those who cannot is what makes the Burqa such an explosive addition to Europe—which is already suffering from a high rate of Muslim sexual assaults on non-Muslim women.
The Burqa divides women into “good girls” and “whores” and gives potential rapists, religious ammunition for their crimes.
Banning the Burqa protects women who choose not to wear it from being assaulted because of their perceived immodesty.
3.  Civic Participation
The essence of a modern society is that it extends civic participation to everyone. Deliberately preventing an entire gender from participating in society as identifiable individuals is an assault on the democratic character of the state.
Individuals are recognizable through personal attributes. Remove those attributes and you remove the individuality as well. The Sahih Bukhari relates that one inspiration for the Burqa was that one of Mohammed’s followers was able to recognize one of his wives at night. The implication is that the Burqa is meant to prevent such recognition from taking place. Women are not meant to be recognized as individuals. Or to be empowered to make their own decisions.
The Burqa is designed to impede interaction outside the home. The failure to be recognized as an individual is dehumanizing and deprives women of their role in civic life.
Countries where the Burqa is in wide use, have low rates of female civic participation. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to vote. In parts of Pakistan, women are not allowed to vote as well. In Afghanistan women were shunted into female only polling stations, or forced to vote by proxy through a male family member.
The rise of such segregation in Europe would threaten the democratic character of the society.  But should the Burqa become widespread, the status of some European women living in national capitals would begin to resemble those of Saudi and Pakistani women.
4. Segregation is Discrimination
Purdah segregates women at homes and the Burqa segregates them in public. While the authorities cannot interfere with what people choose to do in their own homes—the public wearing of the Burqa is a statement that women are unequal and must be segregated.
Such an attitude is an assault on the legal place of women in society. It imposes the norms of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on the streets of Paris and London. Like a Klan march, it a dehumanizing and intimidating statement of bigotry against a segment of society.  While in the United States, such marches are legal, in much of Europe they are not.
If radicals are prevented from making public statements about the inferiority of races, why should they be permitted to assert the inferiority of a gender.
“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other,” the Koran asserts. Replace ‘women’ with any race or religion, and a public assertion of such a thing would be cause for criminal proceedings.
Imposing the segregation of the Burqa on women in an assertion of a bigoted creed that dehumanizes an entire gender. While Muslims are free to believe what they do, a public display that dehumanizes women as a gender by treating their faces as obscene, is an intolerant violation of the norms of civil society.
5.  The Wearing of the Burqa is Enforced Through Violence
“More often the girls were under orders from their fathers and uncles and brothers, and even their male classmates. For the boys, transforming a bluejeaned teen-age sister into a docile and observant "Muslim" virgin was a rite de passage into authority, the fast track to becoming a man, and more important, a Muslim man.... it was also a license for violence.”  (Jane Kramer, Taking the Veil, New Yorker)
In 2003 a French survey found that 77 percent of girls who wore the Hijab did so because of threats. Women in the Muslim world have been punished by having acid thrown in their faces for not complying with similar demands. There is no way to break through this climate of coercion except by giving women and girls immunity from such demands by banning the source of it. The Burqa.
The Burqa also exposes women to blackmail and intimidation when they deviate from the standard of full body covering. There is a rising number of cases in which women and girls who posted Facebook pictures of themselves in normal clothes have been blackmailed and threatened for it.
As long as the Burqa remains a threat hanging over the heads of Muslim and non-Muslim women alike, no woman in Europe can truly be free from its implied threat to her person and her political freedoms.
Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com

Spain's lost generation: youth unemployment surges above 50 per cent

Spain's lost generation: youth unemployment surges above 50 per cent

More than half of young Spaniards are out of work, according to fresh statistics, signalling a lost generation that has been hit hardest by Spain's economic woes, as the total number of unemployed surged above five million.

The number of 16-24 year old Spaniards out of work rose to 51.4 per cent in December, more than double the European Union average, according to a report by Spain's National Statistics Institute. The national unemployment rate hit 22.85 per cent, the highest rate in nearly 17 years and the current highest in the industrialised world.
Spain's young have been dubbed 'generacion cero' or 'the ni-nis' – neither in work nor full time education- and for many their only hope of seeking a better future is moving abroad, sparking fears of a brain drain.
"This is the least hopeful and best educated generation in Spain," said Ignacio Escolar, author of the country's most popular political blog and former editor of the newspaper Publico. "And it's like a national defeat that they have to travel abroad to find work."
When the crisis began in 2008, Spain's under-25 unemployment rate was below 18 per cent but it has nearly tripled within four years as Spain's housing boom collapsed and it sank into recession.
Young Spaniards are now living in the family home longer than ever before, pushing the average age of independence from their parents to well into their thirties.
"These people are delaying their advance into adulthood. It's a very scary time for young people," said Sara Elder an economist with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which published a report into youth unemployment around the world.
"They find the path that worked for their parents is not working for them."
The ILO report, published last October, warned that the consequences of mass youth unemployment could be dire.
"Increased crime rates in some countries, increased drug use, moving back home with the parents, depression – all of these are common consequences for a generation of youth that, at best, has become disheartened about the future, and, at worst, has become angry and violent," it said.
Spain already has one of the highest rates of cannabis and cocaine usage among its young in western Europe.
The botellon, the social activity for younger people of drinking alcohol in public areas such as the streets, has also increased in popularity leading to police clampdowns.
Young Spaniards led the protests throughout last summer, setting up camps in plazas across Spain in the movement that became known as "Los Indignados" – the Indignant ones.
They complain that even a university degree leaves no guarantee of finding work.
"When you go to university, you develop very high expectations, and then you leave and get a reality check," says Tomás Muñoz, a 25-year old graduate of Alicante University and a spokesman for the Juventud Sin Futuro (Youth without a future) platform.
Analysts warn that youth joblessness could have a devastating effect on a nation that needs a dynamic young workforce to help economic recovery and lead Spain out of recession.
"It's a problem not just for them, but for all of us," believes economics professor Gayle Allard from the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.

"This is the generation that will be paying for the welfare state and pensions in the future. If they can't get started with relatively secure, well-paying jobs, start to put away some savings, start to accumulate assets, start paying into the welfare system, where does that leave the rest of us?"