This is the only comparative study of its kind, investigating how women construct their roles within the public sphere and highlighting the ways in which traditional versus modern values impact on female identity in France and Spain. Which female figures are proposed for our admiration? Who proposes them and what values do they represent? This study embarks on an analysis of such cultural icons, going on to address contemporary roles and issues concerning women in the two countries. Finally, Twomey shows how these two strands of discussion inform and interact with each other. The 20th Century &endash; the Century of Women &endash; is celebrated for advancing the cause of women's rights and the contributing authors look to the future and to opportunities presented by the new century.