We continue to despair of the Economist with respect to its treatment of gender-related matters. Our thanks to M for pointing us to this piece in its latest edition:
From the article:
Eastern Germany, with its Communist legacy, may be quite advanced in some aspects of gender equality – young mothers tend to use child care early and return to work quickly, for instance. But western Germany, so proudly progressive in many other ways, remains surprisingly conservative in attitudes to gender equality.
So the Economist considers the former East Germany ‘advanced’ in some aspects of gender equality, such as young mothers returning to work quickly, and the former West Germany ‘surprisingly conservative’. The world’s turned upside down when even the Economist peddles left-wing narratives on gender-related issues, but it’s consistently done so for some years. Nowhere in the article is there any exploration of the apparent conundrum (given the paper’s analysis) that the more economically successful region of Germany – the former West – is also the most socially conservative.
It’s a simple truism that the German economy has long been stronger than the UK’s economy, in part due to a highly impressive manufacturing sector. In the UK, unlike in Germany, successive government’s policies have continued to force mothers with children into paid employment, regardless of the impact on women’s and children’s happiness, and children’s development. The Conservative-led coalition hasn’t changed the direction of travel. Shamefully, for a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has said imperiously that stay-at-home parents are exercising a ‘lifestyle choice’. Financial considerations – driven by the tax system, in the main – ensure that few women in Britain today are able to exercise that choice.
We anticipate proposing in our 2015 election manifesto that personal tax allowances be transferable in full between partners who have children under 16 years of age living with them.