Four out of seven unemployed people are men, and we know unemployment is a bigger driver of suicide among men than women. Yet legislation and government initiatives are all aimed at driving women into employment – often into male-typical lines of work, bizarrely – and into working longer hours. Year after year evidence is forthcoming to show not only that many working women would prefer to be stay-at-home mothers, but that most of the others would prefer to work fewer hours, not more.
An excellent article by Steve Doughty in today’s Daily Mail:
A few excerpts:
More than a third of working mothers would like to give up their jobs completely and stay at home with their children, a major Government survey has found.
The Childcare and Early Years Survey, based on interviews with nearly 6,400 parents between November 2012 and last June, showed that 64 per cent of mothers of children under 15 now work, up from 60 per cent the previous year.
The research for the Department for Education found that, far from being anxious to get out of their homes and into employment, the great majority of mothers are only reluctant workers.
Nearly six out of ten of all working mothers would cut down their hours to spend more time with their families if they could afford to, it said.
More than two-thirds of those in senior and middle management roles would spend fewer hours in the office and devote more time to their children if they had enough money, it said.
The findings undermine the assumption long dominant in Whitehall that most mothers want to find jobs and that state policy should encourage them to do so.
What would help more women do what they want to do with respect to work and home life, which would also benefit their children? Transferable personal tax allowances for couples, for one thing, which we’re considering for our 2015 general election manifesto.