Working women

We don’t talk of a ‘working father’ — so why do we still refer to a ‘working mother’?

The phrase ‘working mother’ ought to be as redundant sounding as ‘working father’ would be if anyone ever said that: in the UK three-quarters of women with dependent children work. Yet the working mother still feels provisional, something that lockdown has made sharply apparent to many women. Will it be Mum or Dad who claims the spare room, while the loser retreats to the kitchen table? Mum or Dad who does the home-schooling? Who will preserve their professional status, and who will slide into the domestic? The answer is that, in most cases, the woman loses, and her male partner quietly gathers the spoils. Although the ability to do our