Twenty years ago at school it was suggested to me that I try for the diplomatic service. I turned it down because, as attractive as the job was, I felt it meant opting for the single life. I, like my male peers, wanted it all - career, partner and family. I found a career that at least held out some hope of that. I am now in a job-share which has been a godsend while my children are small.
What women want is not permission to stay at home with their children but, like many men, a balance between work and home. We need more reasonable working practices which accommodate mothers and fathers and thus go some way to placing a value on children and child-rearing which is sorely lacking at present in the workplace. The solution is as simple, and complex, as that.
Dr HEATHER INGMAN
Beverley, East Yorkshire