Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
Not really, unless you are Latin American. Some Spaniards tend to look down at them. - Jul 2008
Well, this is still Spain meaning that people like to stare and are not ashamed to do so. One must remember that until a few years ago, there were no immigrants whatsoever. As a minority myself, it really annoyed me at the beginning. However, I cannot say that I have encountered the blatant racism that I've felt in some parts of America. Then again, I am not an African refugee. In many parts of town, a minority is assumed to be the hired help. Black women tend to be even more stared at and may at times be confused for prostitutes. I understand that there is a problem with the Gypsy population but frankly Spain is light years ahead of Italy in terms of racial awareness. Religion-wise, some Spaniards, many from a certain social set, tend to be quite conservative and follow the tenets of Opus Dei, basically hardcore Catholicism. The majority of people aren't though and religion has lost its prominence in Spanish society a while ago. There are 2 synagogues that I know of in Barcelona. Yet I do not believe the concept of being Jewish resonates in a Spanish person's mind due to obvious historical reasons. There is a fairly important Muslim community in Barcelona and there seem to be some tensions. Once again, compared to Italy, women have a much stronger prominence in society. This is still Southern Europe though. - May 2008