Maternity leave and working in the home

 

A chara, – Once again we have a government that blatantly ignores its constitutional duty to value the work of mothers who choose to take time out to care for their children at home, particularly in the early childhood years. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan appears determined to penalise 48,000 of our mothers just because they have become pregnant and must take maternity leave from their paid employment.

Does he really believe that these mothers are not working when they are at home? Has he too bought into the lie that has been perpetuated for decades in this country, ie that the stay-at-home mother doesn’t work and that she is of no benefit to society? This was the insulting language used by the radicals back in 1993 when they described mothers as undeserving of any recognition by the State, because, they said, mothers were nothing but “a private benefit to the wage-earning spouse”. What a downright slur on mothers and their children.

I stood alone back then for the rights of mothers, and forced the Fianna Fáil government to give financial recognition to at-home mums in 2000 when Charlie McCreevy tried to penalise them with individualisation. But I am not alone now and I would like to warn Mr Noonan that if he persists with his efforts to demean the work of mothers in the home, he will face the wrath of not just us mothers, but also of fathers, for fathers have had their fill of abuse from the radicals too. And we will win again this time as we won against Mr McCreevy back in 2000. – Is mise,

NORA BENNIS

Revington Park,

North Circular Road,

Limerick.