So The Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) released a report this week which warned, amongst other things, that the Australian economy would continue to suffer unless mothers were encouraged back to work. That one of the areas of greatest untapped potential in the Australian labour force is inactive and/or part time working women, especially those with children.
And this made me furious!
Firstly, why is the Australian economy considered more important than the wellbeing of our kids? I understand that some women have to go back to work earlier than they would like because of their own economical situation, and some Mums go back because they are happy to. Every situation is different, and we all make decisions that we feel are the best for us and our families. But when did the economic growth of a country become more important than the emotional growth of our children?
We already live in a level of economic growth that is completely unsustainable. We are consuming at a rate that has never been seen before. In the last decade alone more than one third of the planets natural resources have been consumed (The Story of Stuff). Frightening I know. We work so that we can consume more, and work more again, and consume etc. However studies have shown that the more we consume, the less happy we are as a society.
When I read that the OECD report stated that 54 percent of women aged between 25 and 34 have university qualifications, compared to 43 percent of men, therefore they should be encouraged into the workplace, I thought this is truly insane. As parents we are the biggest, most powerful influencers on our kids, yet this report is telling us to take our skills and our knowledge out of the home and give it to our country for its economy. An economy that is destroying the planet for our kids' future.
Here is a crazy concept. What about if we started focussing on people rather than money. Seeing families as more important than business. What about if we supported Mums and Dads to be home more with their kids more, sharing their knowledge and qualifications and experience with the leaders of tomorrow. What about if we saw parents, and teachers and educators as just as important as CEO's. I wonder if we did that we could put the brakes on consumerism destroying our beautiful planet? I wonder if it would make us happier as a society? Maybe we would be less inclined to seek out the bigger house, the newer car and spend more time at home with our families.
Maybe that is what we should be aiming for.
Let me know what you think.
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