– The one who was a working mother –
19: 10 . I do not see a contradiction between wanting a career and wanting to have a family – of course finding balance then becomes difficult. Thankfully, I work for an employer that is considerate, but not many are. Society does not make it ‘easy’ for working mothers.
Ania works for a company covering issues of intellectual property at the EU level and in relation to EU policy. She also co-founded the Gentlewoman’s club in Brussels.
– I am still on maternity leave. It should be a given that women should not stress when they take maternity leave, especially that men do not struggle with this type of stress, because they are not subjected to the same stigmas as women. It is time for this to change. In Scandinavia for example, both parents take parental leave; that for me means equality. Employers might also then stop differentiating between a man and a woman when hiring, since until there was this sword of Damocles that eventually women would have children and leave.
I still want to work as hard as I used to before I had her – nevertheless, it is a fact that I need to have a different schedule. I think everyone who either has a child or has an understanding of what having a child means – is aware that life changes after that. The EU institutions are quite understanding of the importance of work-life balance for their employees. But the E.U. in terms of national legislations within all its member states, is still not ‘there’.
I also deplore the lack of care for this topic among feminist movements – I mean, many feminists talk about freedom, about the importance to challenge traditional gender roles. But a woman is also free if she chooses to stay at home and take care of her children; that can be a full time job in itself! Just like a woman is free if she choses not to do so and focuses purely on her career. In terms of endorsing the free choice of women – I think people should simply treat all choices equally.
Feminism is freedom. The freedom of choice.