Have you ever felt you are being ignored by everybody – or, even worse, treated like a doormat?
If so, then you are probably female!
All generalisations have to allow that there are exceptions, but on a proportionate basis, I stand by my statement.
The vast majority of people who work in the ‘caring professions’ are women. Have you ever stopped to wonder why?
Because, for the most part, few men are interested in taking on the required duties, for the pay that is offered!
Early childhood and primary teachers, nurses and health care workers are among the most obvious – and have been the most needed workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much gratitude have they been shown by government? About as much as the volunteer firefighters who ‘enjoy their work’!
The most important years in a child’s life are the first 5 – with the first 3 being the stand-out years.
Guess who spends the most time with the child, during this period, in most cultures?
The mother, and other female relatives, closely followed, in the case of a working mother, by an early childhood educator.
Increasingly fathers are taking more interest in their children from an early age, but as a broad generalisation, mothers spend more time than fathers – and practically all early childhood teachers are female.
So what – you might ask?
Well, the latest government decision in relation to child-care would never have been made by a woman. In fact, a woman would have been offering higher pay to early childhood educators and ensuring that access to the child care service remains free in the future.
Many are now criticising the government for its poor treatment of those employed in education, whether it be in universities – which have had no support from government – or in early childhood education – which should be a compulsory and government-provided part of state education.
Among women who become national leaders, Jacinda Ardern is a stand-out, having become a mother so soon after becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand, and having so successfully steered her country through the COVID-19 crisis.
OK. She had a lot going for her.
Like Australia, her country is an island – a massive advantage in keeping out a viral infection – but hers is smaller. She has a partner who is willing to let his own career take a backseat to his taking on a larger than usual part of the role of parenting a small child.
Being a woman has almost certainly given the New Zealand PM a greater sensitivity to the impact of the policies she developed, on the people affected by them. After all, that is another aspect of the preponderance of females in the caring professions, who are regularly just taken for granted under male policy-makers! They feel for the pain of others.
It is not enough to do the right thing. It is incredibly important that you work to minimise any adverse impacts your policies have, and ensure that everyone understands how and why the policy was formulated, while ensuring that pressure is relieved as soon as it can be, and resisting pressure to move too soon.
Here in Australia, there are so many occasions when a predominantly male group of decision-makers are clearly tin-eared and lacking in empathy when it comes to making policies which significantly affect certain groups adversely, that I am sure women will have a lot of similar reactions to those of many Indigenous groups.
The assistance packages which the Australian government belatedly implemented have proved incredibly inequitable, again demonstrating the lack of sensitivity in government.
It has often been said that fewer if any countries would go to war if they were governed by women.
I would venture to suggest that a great deal of current policy decisions would be vastly improved if more input from women was incorporated.
Well – maybe not from Bridget McKenzie unless you, too, support the Coalition!
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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