Women, work and youth work

In reading the articles in the August edition of youth work and Jenny Bakers PS to her article, i am reminded of a conversation I had a month or so ago with one of the wives of the vicars I work for.

But first the articles. Or more to the point the weighting. Jenny Baker notes that only five of the 21 are women. I would like to add that only three of those have their own article. Now this is not discrimination on the part of youth work magazine, more a snapshot of how things are.

Jenny baker’s article is well worth a read, and a very balanced reasoning of the situation.

But this brings me back to the conversation with the vicars wife. I was saying how hard I was finding it fitting in being married and work and how the vicars seemed to manage it.

She pointed out they have wives to do the cooking and housework.

Now, I am aware this is a stereotype and that husbands do do chores and cooking and childcare. R does washing up and washing and bathroom cleaning as well as me. I also do cooking and food shopping and hoovering. But that’s my choice. If I asked R to take on some of the cooking and share the weekly shop, he would.

But all the same. Women do tend to take the bulk of household work. Which I think contributes to why there are less women in youth work for the long term. Particularly if they want children. As I have blogged about before, I’m not really sure how R and I would manage with a child and both of our jobs.

We may have to choose between my ministry as a youth worker and children.

I don’t know of a church that provides childcare for their workers. And I wonder how many women in youth work have had to make the choice between family and ministry.

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