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Nearly third of young women think mums with young children are irresponsible for wanting to work

Article By: Sue Learner, Editor

Young women aged 18 to 30 tend to have more traditional and stereotypical ideas than women aged 30 and over about what jobs are suitable for men and women, according to a new survey.

The poll carried out by the Young Women’s Trust, a charity which represents young women on low incomes, found 29 per cent of young women believe mums of young children are irresponsible for wanting to work, whereas only 17 per cent of women aged 30 and over agreed.

The survey which appears to show young women turning their back on feminism, also revealed that around one in three young women think young men are better suited to being an IT technician compared to 10 per cent of older women who think the same.

Sixty-six per cent of older women think that being a plumber is equally suitable for young men and young women but only 40 per cent of younger women agree with them.

Around one in three young women think nursing (33 per cent) and caring (31 per cent) are better roles for young women than young men compared to only 13 per cent of older women.

Dr Carole Easton, chief executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “This is not just Generation Austerity - for young women this is a generation where the clock is being turned back on the progress made for women’s equality of opportunity.

“Young women are struggling to get into the job market and too many are stuck on low pay or no pay. With their choices limited they are being forced back into traditional roles with few opportunities to enter and progress in the job market. Despite what they really want to do, staying at home may be their only option and they know it.”

She added: “YWT is calling for improved recruitment and employment practices to attract and retain young women in a broader range of employment opportunities.”

The poll comes nearly one hundred years after women first got the vote in Britain and 25 years after the Equal Pay Act.

The YWT report claims these views are a response to the societal and institutional barriers that exist and contribute to nearly half a million young women aged 16-24 not being in employment, education or training.

Currently around three in 100 engineering and construction apprentices are women. Almost nine out of 10 apprentices in health, social services and childcare are women.

The report shows that high numbers of young women are anxious about money (44 per cent), housing (51 per cent) and whether they have the abilities to do their job (54 per cent).

They are more likely than young men to say that they are worn down (women: 36 per cent, men: 24 per cent), worried about their confidence (women: 53 per cent, men 41 per cent) and worried about their appearance (women: 50 per cent, men 37 per cent).


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