Help! I can’t read Bad Penny’s gender equality roadmap

Jul 5, 2019 by

by Caroline ffiske, The Conservative Woman:

IN her role as Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt has set out her vision for ‘gender equality in the UK’ with the publication of ‘Gender equality at all stages: A roadmap for change’.

Talk about reinforcing the notion that women are victims. Her press release announces: ‘This inequality is faced at every stage of a woman’s life – from how she is treated in the classroom, to the caring roles she often takes on, and the lack of savings or pension she accumulates. This road map is intended to define and guide how we tackle the barriers women face as they journey through life.’ The bit of this that annoys me the most is the comment about the classroom. This insults every teacher in the land. I have never met one who isn’t committed to treating all kids equally and fairly. Where is Mordaunt’s evidence for inequality in the classroom? 

If her evidence is simply that men and women end up, statistically, doing different things with their lives, has it occurred to her that this might be the result of active informed choice? Studies show that even babies show a gender difference in their interests, with girls being more people-focused, and boys more ‘thing-focused’. Is this any wonder? If you believe in evolution, women evolved to be good at caring for their children. Men evolved to be good at caring for women and children. It was a good division of labour. We don’t need to stick with that division of labour now, but we should be able to make our own decisions without the government hectoring us about our choices.

Gender differences in career choices also tend to be larger in more gender‐egalitarian societies. In other words, the more freedom and opportunity women have, the more they tend to do things differently to men. For example, as societies get richer, and individual families get richer too, women may choose to spend less time in the workplace and more time at home caring for young children. What greater joy and pleasure? How wonderful for the mother and the children. Why on earth would a government want to hector us out of that opportunity?

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