There are, of course, women in politics who buck the trend and have babies in office, and they are amazing. If juggling were an Olympic sport, these ladies would never be off the podium. And their husbands are the best men alive. But they can never quite delegate to their spouses as completely as the men can, and you can read in their faces the extra havoc that homework and school pick-up and did-anyone-remember-MUFTI-day and does-everyone-think-I-am-a-bad-mother wreaks on the already overworked brain of a federal parliamentarian. When you ask them over a glass of wine how politics has affected their children, it’s awful how many of them cry.
What’s the easiest way to have a fulfilling life in politics? Have a stay-at-home spouse, or don’t have children at all. Given the difficulties associated with the first option for female recruiters, a bunch of them choose the second, including the woman who in 2010 became our first female PM, and the one who this week became the first female foreign minister.
But only 15 per cent of Australian women reach the age of 44 without having had a child, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics research. That’s not a very broad gene pool from which to draw candidates with the best chances of success in the political workplace.
Mothers in politics
September 22, 2013 by blue milk