Thursday, July 22, 1999 Published at 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Mexican women stop ironing
Mexico City: A modern city with old fashioned attitudes
By Peter Greste in Mexico City
For many men and their children across Mexico City, Thursday may not be an easy day.
In a society where heating a tortilla can be seen as an affront to a man's masculinity, a typical Mexican male may never have been near a stove and certainly not a baby's dirty nappy.
But a city council agency called Colectivo Atabal is hoping that thousands of women will abandon their kitchens and ironing boards to join a citywide strike in an attempt to show their families just how hard they really work.
The project's co-ordinator, Gabriela Delgado, said since the economic crisis of the mid-1990s, many women have had to get paid work to keep families going, without giving up their traditional roles in the home.
"We want housework seen as a family responsibility, she said. "It is not good enough that all the work falls to women when they too have to go out and earn."
But traditions die hard in Mexico and it is not clear how many women will be brave enough to heed the call.
Government studies show that Mexican men are amongst the most reluctant in Latin America to share the burden of housework, and many women are simply too deeply immersed in the old ways to give it up - even for a symbolic day.