So, last week for those of you who noticed…the world celebrated International Womens Day and in some countries, such as the UK, also Mothers Day, though on the continent, Mothers Day is celebrated in May actually.
Well, a few days before the event, I heard a radio presenter remark that they should have International Mens Day and one of his female guests said that it would not be possible, since Mens Day is every day!
This statement evoked some thoughts which I will share with you:
In this era of equality for everyone`s rights..wether you`re black or white, female or male, gay or straight..everyone seems to be quibbling about rights. I think that we have got it all wrong– we can never be equal because everyone is an individual, so what politicians need to do is to ensure that people embrace differences between each other and let`s say it…unless they stop attacking immigrants for what goes wrong in their country, we`ll never get anywhere.
So, let`s focus on males and females. We are told that women have come a long way since the days when they first had the vote (thanks to the suffragettes) and were married off to have kids and tend to the husband and children and never had a say in who ruled their countries. I don`t agree! Nowadays women have taken on roles which were traditionally male ones- in the caring professions (except nursing), law, engineering, business.They have been able to get a decent education which had been denied to their female ancestors for ages and that is a great thing but women are intrinsically different to men- anatomically, physiologically and psychologically, yet we still compete against men for jobs, recognition and salary (and here we still are not equal). These days, female humans are still getting married or hooking up with men, having their babies and managing children, home, housework and real work.
Ironically, it`s quite obvious that women (or should we say super-women) have taken more on board than their male counterparts ever will do and what have we achieved with all this? More stress which results in mental illness such as depression which then may result in separation from the children’s father which impacts on the children themselves (and no divorce lawyer can convince me of otherwise) which then grow up and take on adult roles haunted by what happened in their childhood. Politicians claim that they want more women in the workforce, more of them at senior management and in governments and in academia but realistically, what are governments actually doing in practice to enable women to be ‘ad par’ with their male counterparts? Are they subsidising nursery care and giving women extra leave to deal with the childrens` illnesses because, unless a man is a single parent, female colleagues are the ones who have to take time off work to tend for the child if unwell. And what do we say about housework? How many men actually put in their utmost to help with the chores and if this doesn`t get done, then it`s surely the woman who appears as a careless housewife!
Case Scenario: A woman, Mary strives to get a good education, goes to Uni, gets a degree and then a post-grad. She starts to work and likes her job. Then she finds the love of her life, John and hooks up with him and has a couple of babies. They decide to buy a house and they both know they need to work to be able to pay the mortgage, bills and give a decent education and upbringing to their kids. Mary realises that she can`t work fulltime as she needs to take care of the kids and let`s face it, her salary practically all goes to the nursery, so why is she going to work when she can stay at home and care for her kids? Mary knows that if she does remain in work and the next promotion comes up, her boss Larry will give it to Joe, as of course he won`t get pregnant and claim maternity leave or has to work part-time and take leave every time his child gets sick and business is business no hard feelings!!
Is the above scenario familiar to you? Does it ring any bells? Know someone in a similar situation? And they say there`s equality!
In conclusion, if politicians really want to do something for modern women, as a working woman with a husband and house but no kids who regularly sees colleagues who have 1-4 children struggle desperately and work as hard as their male colleagues (if not harder), a few tips:
1. Women living with husband or a partner should have an additional allowance for housework duties irrespective of whether she works or not.
2. Women with young children should have additional days of leave and if governments want people to have more children, then the leave should increase proportionally.
3. If politicians want more women to have top jobs, ensure that salaries are equivalent to their male counterparts first and add incentives to businesses and organizations to promote women.
4. Governments should subsidise nursery costs.
Have your say and let us know what you think…whether you`re a male or female!