Time on our side – Why we all need a shorter working week

19 September 2013

Writing in the New Statesman, Anna Coote, head of social policy at the New Economics Foundation, has argued that the UK should work its way gradually towards a 30 hour working week – to help in the fight for gender equality in the workplace and at home.

She writes:

Nowadays women are expected to go out to work and bring home a wage, but they must do so in ways that interfere as little as possible with, first, caring for children and, later, caring for ailing parents – and often both at once. As a result, many women do so-called “part-time” jobs, which attract lower wages and status because they are not seen as proper (that is, “full-time”) employment. The formal economy could not survive for a moment without the work women do at home. Yet this work is un-valued and largely unnoticed: it is today’s “problem that has no name”.

And continues:

The personal is not just political, it is economic. Who does the dishes or changes the nappies is more than a social choice it’s the effect of an economy that runs on gender divides. Our working week is a relic of another time when women were expected to stay in the home. The next wave of feminism must challenge that.

Read the article here.




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