Have we come a long way baby?

There are times where I will admit I wallow in self-pity…usually absorbed in some form of reflection about the dilemmas that I face as a woman wanting to care for her family in the best way possible but also pursue her intellectual dreams in a world which does not take kindly to “time out” for family reasons. As I contemplated these issues I ran into a colleague at work who happens to be at pretty much the same stage of her pregnancy as myself. During a conversation with her however I soon discovered just how different our circumstances were. I have the “luxury” of being permanently employed and as a result can take advantage of the relatively (for Australia) generous paid and unpaid parental leave entitlements to take leave from my employment for at least 12 months. My colleague on the other hand is a casual worker with no attendant parental leave. Whilst being able to access the new Commonwealth scheme of 18 weeks paid at the minimum wage, she plans to only take 3 months break from work. She also needs to find a new job as her contract will end shortly before she gives birth. It brought home to me the stark contrast between our situations as I realised just how many women would not be wrestling with the issues I have about juggling my family life and my intellectual pursuits but rather simply have no choice but to return to the workforce far earlier than they would like to.

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About mumurings

mother, lawyer, philosopher, feminist, writer, artist
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