I think you bring a very interesting point, although I wouldn't go as far as saying that the problem is the "same". Women in Latin countries can vote and drive. FGM is not a problem and women have rights. Now, is the equality between men and women really "equal"? No.
Here are two quick examples: You mention "machismo" I am Mexican and my parents have a somewhat traditional view in the role of women. My mom always cooks and then my dad sits and waits to be served. I find this tradition pathetic, but it is the way it works. The second example is from a Mexican family I met in New Mexico, the father cooked the dinner for the family and because of that he was praised. When a man cooks is to be praised, when a woman cooks is just the norm... and when a woman doesn't cook, it gets ugly.
It is very interesting the connection between Arab culture and Latin (Spanish) culture. I think that around one fourth of words in Spanish are Arab rooted words, typical Mexican food and art (the one that is very colorful) it is also original from Arab countries. A college professor jokes about a "Mexican Restaurant" in our city, which is an ultraconservative area with nearly 95% Christian. Its name is "Cocina de Guadalara: Typical Mexican Food". Guadalajara is a Mexican city, but look at this: The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, which came from the Andalusian Arabic name wād(i) l-ḥijāra (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة), the literal translation of the Iberian Arriaca, meaning "river/valley of stones".
He jokes that it should say "Typical Arabic Food". White old Republicans would freak out!
I personally have made little to no real difference in equal rights for today's women, despite strong feelings that females comprise the underrated, better half of humanity. However, I'm very happy with my kids and their friends practicing and expecting to keep making progress for women. How people rear kids can make a real difference.
Belle, It is amazing when you think about why we are how we are.
There would have been even more mixing of culture, but when the Reconquista was finally completed after centuries of wars, this is how the Christian soldiers felt about the Moors:
Of course the empires of Italy and Sicily had theirs occupations and wars against the Ottoman empire, and Venetian Architecture attests to the Turkish/Arab influence. Even Vienna fell to Suleiman and the Muslims.
As a latino man, and one raised in the United States, I don't get to see the dominant male, submissive female that I see in my country of birth, Puerto Rico. Then again my wife is of Serbian descent so I really never get to experience this submissive female. I was once married to a very strong willed woman from Columbia. There was nothing submissive about her.
When my wife was giving birth to our daughter there was a woman, next door, giving birth. She was latina. Her husband walked in and said, in a very loud voice, "hurry up and have this baby so we can go home. You have to take care of those other four kids". Well, I was mortified.
I don't see the Moor in as much as I see the African and the Arawak indian in latinos. Not to say that we don't resemble moor's. I've been confused for an Iraqi, even so far as to let a cabbie yak away before asking me if I was from Iraq. There is an image in an old National Geographic magazine depicting a young, green eyed Afghani girl looking right at the camera. It's a famous picture. She could be my sister. Spitting image. But looking at my family, all from the island of Puerto Rico, I can't help but see mostly African, Spaniard, and Taino Indian. If we think about it the very definition of the word Latino.
It's different. Someone once explained that in America racism's forms manifest themselves in animosity towards the persons ethnicity. In most of Latino America that's not usually the case. Latino's usually consider race and ethnicity one and the same. So a Puerto Rican or Cuban or Dominican of mostly African decent is discriminated for the color of his skin but not his ethnicity. He's still very much a Puerto Rican or a Cuban or a Dominican or a Panamanian whether he's of African, Incan, or Spaniard decent.
Argentina is a not a great example of a description of Latinos. Argentinia is the closes spanish speaking country to Spain in our hemisphere. Like Mexico, Argentina did not have the influx of African Slaves that most of Latin America saw. So the majority of the population is composed of people of Spanish and Arawak indian decent; but mostly Spaniards and Europeans.
My ex-wife was half British and half Colombian. She grew up with her very Colombian mother, a very dark skinned Colombian woman of mostly Arawak decent. She was very strong willed and a product of American inner city schools. She was very well versed in woman's issue and suffrage. Very independent. I admire her to this day. Just couldn't be married to her. Like "aceite y agua"....