Women and work in the home

 

A chara, – Orla O’Connor of the National Women’s Council of Ireland states that “the unequal involvement of men and women in care and domestic activities is a persistent challenge” (“State must ensure greater equality between men and women”, Opinion & Analysis, January 7th).

A challenge to whom? Why can we not simply accept the private choices of women as to where and how they work?

Survey after survey shows that a large majority of Irish mothers (more than 60 per cent) would be at home if it were financially possible. Other women prefer to dedicate more time to their careers, a perfectly valid choice.

Why do we presume one choice is a “challenge”?

Women today have choice. They have full control over their fertility: to have or not have children. Women outnumber men in our universities, so are in pole position to enter the professions they want. The average age of the birth of the first child has gone from 26 to 31 in a generation, so women have significant work experience by the time they choose to leave the labour force, if that is their choice.

A decision to leave the workforce to raise children is a well-informed decision made by intelligent, rational women. When will the National Women’s Council of Ireland do what feminists always ask of us: to listen to the voices of women? – Yours, etc,

RONALD T O’BRIEN,

Fingal,

Co Dublin.