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Heather du Plessis-Allan: Cancel the opinion piece, women need accessible early child care

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Mar 2023, 6:45PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Cancel the opinion piece, women need accessible early child care

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Mar 2023, 6:45PM

I am very happy to report I have manged to avoid participating in anything to do with International Women’s Day all day long.

Because it is a sham isn’t it? It’s just an opportunity for a whole bunch of corporates, media, Government departments and other organisations to hold some sort of hui or do a little video, write an opinion piece and tick the box for the year that tells the world they’re nice to women.

Yay, good for you, well done.

Tell you what, something I’ve realised since becoming a mum is that there is one single most helpful thing that would make a lot of women’s lives easier.

Make early childcare free and more accessible.

If you’re the Government, fund it like we fund primary and secondary school. If you’re a corporate, think about setting up a creche, even if you charge your female employees to use it. If you’re a media outlet, start giving this coverage.

Because this is the single biggest thing holding women back from doing all the things that we complain about on International Women’s Day.

Like pay parity and climbing corporate ranks and getting more seats around the boardroom, stuff like that.

The reason that women don’t get paid as much and don’t carry on with their careers is because they have to look after the babies.

If day care is too expensive, it’ll mostly be mum who stays away from work, that's a fact for most mums.

Even when the dads say they're helping, and they are, credit to them, it’s not the same.

Mums are almost always where the buck stops. 

Yup, it'll cost money. But the sums might work out that it pays itself back to the Government in taxes that the now working mums pay.

Or to the employer in having another productive worker making profits in a labour market where it is really, really hard to find good workers. 

So cancel the opinion piece, cancel the hui, cancel the speaking panel, forget about the video on Twitter.

Women don’t need words. Women just need the chance to go back to work.

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