Thursday, March 09, 2006

And a Woman's place is ...

I read something really depressing today:

According to the Economist, till now, women are consistently earning lower then men. Although the Economist points out that this gender gap starts early in life, "the gap widens to a chasm during women's working lives, for a fundamental biological reason: motherhood."

The Economist goes on to explain that:

"Around two-thirds of British women with children under 11 work part-time.) Often, though, they cannot do this in their current jobs, but must move to a lower-paid, lower-skilled job, or leave the workforce altogether... this move to the “mummy track” is irreversible . According to the IFS, women's hourly pay recovers only slightly by the time their children leave home, when it is 72% of men's pay, and although their employment rate increases steadily as their children grow up, it never returns to the same level as men's."

Read the full article at this link

So what hope is there for us next? Should we wait for the various governments to find affordable childcare solutions, or legislate the problem away? Should mothers who choose to make such a career sacrifice be protected from the consequences of their decisions?

On a personal level, Fabien and I discussed for a long time last night whether I should go back to being a lawyer (it is an option still open, but it involves getting all that child-raising out of the way and then going back to school to push the RESET button). There is no answer to that question yet. It is right up there along with the other difficult ones - "How much money is enough?" , and "Is choosing to stay at home a waste of education and training?"

"And Stendhal said: 'All the geniuses who are born women are lost to the public good.' To tell the truth, one is not born a genius: one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible." --- Simone De Beauvoir, The second sex


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how about something a little more depressing.. for a global institution
that has the protection of human rights and democratic principles as two
of its foundations, the majority of women employed at the UN occupy
positions at the lowest professional level (83.3%) while only 16.7% are
at the highest staff level (as of June 2004).

and kofi dude himself acknowledged that achieve gender parity at the
rate UN is going, it'll take until at the earliest, 2040. bwahahah..