updated 29 Jul 2012, 14:34
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Wed, Jan 05, 2011
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Women want rich husbands, not a career: report

The idea of the career woman who wants it all by striking a perfect balance between work and family may be a myth after all, says a British sociologist.

The author of the report, Catherine Hakim, a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, pooh-poohed the idea that women strive to be financially independent, as women still want spouses who earn more than themselves, according to Daily Mail. The report was published by London's Centre for Policy Studies.

It seems that years of campaigning for gender equality did not help too, as more women now than in the 1940s are choosing to marry wealthy men, says Hakim.

She said: "Women’s aspiration to marry up, if they can, to a man who is better-educated and higher-earning persists in most European countries.

"‘Women thereby continue to use marriage as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers."

Drawing existing data from Britain and Spain, the report showed that the percentage of British women who decided to 'marry up' and looked for husbands with significantly better education than themselves, went up to 38 per cent in the 1990s, compared to 20 per cent in 1948.

This pattern was also repeated in the rest of Europe, the US and Australia.

Another idea that was shot down by the sociologist - equal roles in the family, where both husband and wife shared the burden of employment, childcare and housework, were desired by couples.

She suggested that men dominate top positions in business because women were not career-minded, and that the latter earned less because "most couples rationally decide that it makes sense for her to take on the larger share of child care, and to use most or all the parental leave allowance".

Her report also accuses feminists who demand for more gender equality in the workplace as basing their theories and ideas on dated evidence and faulty assumptions.

Hakim says that even though women today have "more choices than men, including 'real choices' between family work and/or paid employment", policy makers' attempts to provide more family-friendly policies, such as generous maternity provisions, actually reduce gender equality in the workplace by making it more difficult for employers to take on women employees of childbearing age.

The results of the study was released as the UK policy makers announced plans to decrease the pay difference between men and women. It also criticised EU plans to offer 20 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave, saying that these 'family-friendly' policies ‘generally reduce gender equality in the workforce, rather than raising it’.

More stories:

Stay-at-home mums? Not us
Pregnant workers as good as the rest
Bosses told her to take a break - which she did not need
Healthy work-life balance for parents
Striking a balance between work and life
Workers with young kids more committed


readers' comments
Men, I urge you to look for international market. SG girls are sl*ts.
Posted by selfproclaim on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 at 08:36 AM
As long as she is a good cook... Ha..ha..
Posted by Wong Keat Wai on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 at 16:25 PM
Women are biologically comfortable in an non-confrontational environment - in the world place they can only succeed by playing the male role.
Posted by ~~P@P~~ on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 at 15:48 PM
Rich hubbies? Financial security? Stay-home mums/homemakers?Ho-hum ..what a shocker findings. Can't deny natural roles played by women. Trying to juggle career/family & roles like Wonderwoman is just well...Nuts to begin with..
Posted by chieftain on Fri, 7 Jan 2011 at 10:13 AM
You cannot change biology, girls always like to cosy up at home.
Posted by novicereporter on Thu, 6 Jan 2011 at 17:42 PM

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