Women have to choose between career & family and men don’t

The CBC hosted a radio debate a few weeks ago about women and work. It was the same old debate pitting two successful women against each. Each suggested that her particular choice was better:  to have children and stay home and work like a dog for no pay or  have no children and work like a dog for lots of pay. Sadly one woman suggested that women who stayed at home and looked after children were lazy and not doing their part.

When will we stop this rhetoric? It is not just a waste of time and insulting to women, but misses the more important issue, which is this: In our current family and corporate systems women must choose between family and career. Men do not have to make this choice. This is not only ridiculous, unfair and wrong but bad for women who are stunted and very  bad for society over the long term.

If we truly want women to be fully contributing citizens, making use of their vast skills and abilities, it makes economic and social sense to help them raise children. This way they can do both paid work and child rearing. If we continue to make it impossible for women to both, they will either stop having children or stop contributing to business, politics and society.

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