Dear policy-maker, dear politician,
I am a woman and a mother. And I have a lot to tell you about
I have worked during many years outside home and now I devote myself 100% to my family. Since I started working I felt that the entry of women to the workforce followed a masculine pattern and that has just brought more difficulties and problems to us women, to society and families as well. Let me explain myself:
– When I started to work outside home, I wanted to develop my work as woman, contributing with my feminine being and unique features for adding them to the male ones from the men whom I worked with, but my perception was that what they expected from me was to be completely the “same as men”, underestimating my femininity as a distinctive input on regard of men, everyone cast in the same mould, losing half of my potential!!!
– And when I became mother, I had hard times at my workplace to tell I was pregnant, or any other thing related to my pregnancy or kids (by the way, I was the only one from all the company who didn’t get a permanent contract because I requested a reduction in my working hours). It doesn’t make sense that we have to be acting as if our children were invisible or pretending that we don’t have kids at all, when motherhood gives us huge potential and high skills, which are pure gold for our career’s development and progress.
And the thing is, let’s be honest, that women in Western societies are discriminated against, not so much for being a woman, but for being a mother.
But I don’t see this issue very complicated, we only need to remake the framework and adapt the labour market to reality, I mean, to human nature and to life itself.
Take into account that society needs self-confident and happy children, with an adequate family environment. These are the reasons why mothers are the cornerstone, and that is the way it is.
Mothers who work outside their homes need working hours’ flexibility without having any trouble or suffering any type of harassment. It is very simple, just reduce or adapt the working time so that we can to take care of our own children, do not insist on extending school hours so that other people must look after them.
It comes to my mind that other option is to open horizons to labour and business entrepreneurship from home with incentives and those things; tele-working from the house for at least some part of the working hours; supporting part-time contracts with tax benefits so that this doesn’t become a burden to companies, otherwise it won’t become a reality.
But not all mothers want to, or can work outside home. Many of us choose to stay at home and dedicate a 100% to our family. However for some reason this option does not convince some people, and they have succeeded in making this decision degrading, condemning into social death all those who, as me, prefer working inside our houses for our children.
Yet the thing is, I like to be with my kids, actually is what I love the most, and they enjoy having me around always as well.
To ease this discrimination against and narrow-mindedness, I suggest to considerate the treatment of the term “exclusive dedication to the family” as a job category. This would imply, for example, indirect salary through grants and benefits, pension rights, subsidized sickness and maternity leave… because full-time mothers who perform unpaid work also are human beings and we get sick, or have pregnancy complications, etc.… so we need outsource help.
By the way, it would also be necessary an increase of the widow’s pension for mothers who dedicate primarily or exclusively to their family. In this case I believe it’s obvious that a social and public support has to go even beyond the effort realised in the rest of cases.
And when kids grow older, then mothers wish to get back to the labour market after some years invested in their families, so the typical situation is produced, when there is no possible way to find a job because of “lack of experience” or for “an unproductive long-time period” (unproductive time… really????). Well those situations need public support for giving tax benefits to companies that hire these women. And, one thing for sure, with a special bonus for hiring single mothers, widows or separated women.
To be clear enough, we live in a society which discriminates motherhood, it hides it, it rejects it. Ironically society needs from its mothers and their children, and has to take care of them; there is no other way.
Policy-maker, politician, please do whatever it is on your hand to avoid ideological social policies that don’t respect feminine identity or discriminate motherhood.
Yours Sincerely, Leonor Tamayo
Women of the World