Girls still seen as homemakers - Girls' Schools Association head

 
Girls studying Girls should be aware they have choices, says Mrs French

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Girls are still being brought up to believe that raising children is more important than their own ambitions, the president of the Girls' Schools Association has said.

They should be told that they have freedom to make different choices if they want to, says Hilary French.

Despite women's educational achievements, they are still expected to be the homemaker, she says.

Women are now more likely than men to go to university in the UK.

Mrs French, who is also the headmistress of Central Newcastle High School, told the Press Association news agency the school sometimes invited business leaders and entrepreneurs in to talk to students.

"One of the young entrepreneurs, a lady, dared to say that she had probably put her business ahead of her son, and the sharp intake of breath from all of the girls was audible," she said.

"They were all absolutely shocked, so yes, we are still creating a generation of girls who think that the whole idea of looking after children is really the most important thing, once you have a child."

The GSA leader said that was an issue for ethical and moral debate - and a very personal decision.

"But, what's maybe less personal, and maybe more incumbent on us as leaders in girls' schools, is to try and get girls to see that it is a decision, and that there are options, and that it's not wrong, and that's where society needs to come into play as well," she said.

"It's not wrong to make a particular decision, whatever it is."

'Caring men'

Mrs French added that it was "probably still the assumption" that women would deal with childcare.

"We do still expect women to be at the core of the relationship, the homemaker, the person who brings up children and thinks about what everyone's going to eat every day. It's still, I think, unusual to find a man doing that."

However, Mrs French said she was also "quite struck" that today's young men were "very caring and do want to have children and do have an affinity with children".

Commenting on planned changes to England's exams system, Mrs French said she supported the principles of the plans "to make the system more rigorous and fit for purpose".

But she raised concerns about the idea of scrapping GCSEs in core academic subjects and replacing them with new English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs).

EBCs in English, maths and science are due to be introduced in autumn 2015, with the first exams being taken in 2017. EBCs in history, geography and foreign languages are due to be brought in later.

Mrs French said EBCs could "make a failing system more complicated and possibly more prone to absolute collapse in the end".

 

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  • Comment number 142.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 141.

    No so much genetics as natural selection.

    Families that do a good job of bringing up children will produce children that do a good job & so on.

    In nature female apes will mate with many males to ensure greater genetic diversity and thereby higher % survival of their offspring. Looking around the coffee shop I see lots of women with several children by different fathers.

    rest my case

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 140.

    "Girls are still being brought up to believe that raising children is more important than their own ambitions, the president of the Girls' Schools Association has said."

    A career ends when you retire but you're a parent for life. I know which one I think is more important. What a pity the Girls School Association sees being a homemaker as a second rate occupation - I don't.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 139.

    It's pure ridiculoussness to have children then giving them up !!
    Once you become a mother , keep in mind that looking after your kids is your main priority ! If ever you can make sure you won't be neglecting your home charges by working then work ! DEAL

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 138.

    135. penguin337, still not genetics. That's education and circumstance.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 137.

    Strange that there is little discussion about parenting as a unit - i.e. mother and father sharing the load. Due to our 'economics' my husband did the lions share of the child rearing when the kids were young. Now they are teenagers I am around more, again due to a shift in our circumstances. Life where one person is the only homemaker/carer is really very 1950s!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 136.

    Just look at how many hyper-successful people have screwed-up children -- and now try and tell me what's better: parenthood, or success?

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 135.

    If it was genetic we would see all people from large families having families of their own but we don't
    ----

    If you live in middle class world perhaps

    Try living on a council estate instead

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 134.

    i dont know about labours social engineering but i do know about work being a necessity for all at the cost of mothering due to low wages spiraling costs etc all to make fat torys fat wallets fatter

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 133.

    Governments,media, constantly undermine the roll of a house wife or in rare cases house husband,this is done due to financial pressures from Gov, its better to have money coming in,and advertising targets workers,as they have the disposable income to buy their products.
    I wonder what direct and indirect savings to society there would be,if couples could really choose about both partners working??

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 132.

    Joannie has it right the MOST important and HARDEST job that anyone can do in the world, is bringing up the next generation, 99.9% of the time the best person to do that is one or both of the parents. Children are hard work, Make you cringe with embarrassment or burst with pride. In fact both within minutes of each other.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 131.

    129. Penguin337, your grasp of Darwinism and evolution is faulty. Mothering instinct is not genetic and certainly not passed down. Childfree-by-choice people come from all backgrounds and family types. If it was genetic we would see all people from large families having families of their own but we don't.

  • Comment number 130.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 129.

    There are a lot of comments here about mothering being genetic, something that women can't help. I guess I must be defective in some way then?
    ----

    Nope
    You will have none or 1 child

    A mothering female will have more children and her genetics will be more successful over the long term, producing more offspring


    Darwinism is very simple, the numbers always win, our opinions are irrelevant

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 128.

    If you belittle women for having children and raising them, then YOU are the problem.

    Shame on anyone who makes women feel awful about the greatest joy in life!

    If only us men could have the same close bond with our children as our women do!

  • Comment number 127.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 126.

    Personally, as a single guy I'd rather shack up with a woman who's more interested in being a "homemaker" than some woman who's interested in being power hungry and "climbing the ladder".

    In my experience women who are obsessed with "following their ambitions" tend to be rather obnoxious - much like those blokes who wave their wallets around all the time, going look at my money...

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 125.

    my wife is a homemaker and she is the most important person in our house , we would be lost without her . raising children is the most labour intensive job in the world and the most vital , not something to be sneered at

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 124.

    I am heartened to hear that these young girls had the wisdom to be audibly shocked at the notion of putting a business before one's child; the head-teacher seems to have missed the point that this is a wrong-minded notion, whether it comes from the mouth of a mother OR a father.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 123.

    OK lets try another aproach

    Teaching a child to read/maths = Computer programming

    Teaching right from wrong = Legal counselling / social engineering

    Helping with homework = College tutor.

    Feel more fulfilled now?

 

Page 6 of 13

 

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