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Stop fretting, working mums: a learned man says it’s OK | Phoebe-Jane Boyd

The record numbers of women in work can now be reassured that male academics say they aren’t letting down their children

“Women work – but should they?” It’s a tough one. I mean, it must be, considering how variations of the question endure. This generation asks it, as did the one before it, and the one before that. Did the first consciousness, alone out there in the universe, find itself wondering “… but what about the children”?

We’re at a time here on Earth (or at least the UK) where more women than ever are in paid work. The Office for National Statistics puts it at 71% of women aged between 16 and 64 – many of those are mothers at the same time. Would the first consciousness approve of so many women with children working? We’ll never know, but plenty of people take a dim view of working mothers here in 2018 – despite societal shifts over time, despite all the progress we’ve made for gender equality. If you aren’t a working mother, ask one you know about this – they’ll probably be able to give you a fair few anecdotes.

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