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Child care

Cherie Blair says couples should see themselves as ‘parents’ rather than as ‘mothers’ or ‘fathers’

By WITW Staff on December 2, 2016

Cherie Blair, the British barrister and lecturer whose husband Tony served as British prime minister from 1997 to 2007, has suggested that parents cease thinking of themselves “mothers” and “fathers” and instead see themselves simply as parents.

“I think we shouldn’t be talking about mothering or fathering — we should be talking about parenting, and we should allow couples to actually be able to organise a way of bringing up their children that suits both of them,” said Blair, after being asked by the BBC on how parents should split “mothering” duties.

“I think that it’s clear that obviously women physically give birth and they also physically feed the babies, and maternity leave and maternity rights are very important,” she added. “But beyond that, what I think is very encouraging — particularly in my son’s generation — is we see young men now who are much more hands-on fathers than their own fathers.”

While times have changed quickly in regards to how people view gender stereotypes, Blair continued, work environments have been slower to adjust.

“My husband was much more of a hands-on father than his own father — when the idea was that real men went to work and women stayed at home, and for a man to show caring was regarded as a weakness,” she said. “I think we’ve gone beyond that today, and this is a good thing. But we still organize our work in such a way as though we were still living in this sort of mythical world where women all stayed at home and men went to work.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


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