Katy Guest: Rant & Rave

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Rant

Some great news for women in the run up to International Women's Day on Tuesday: the glass ceiling is officially smashed, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Women make up 35.8 per cent of full time workers, and 35.5 per cent of management, they say. Therefore, it's easy for women to climb the career ladder.

Forget for a minute that only a third of full time workers are female (well somebody has to bring up the babies). Forget the eerie absence of senior women in business, banking and government. What hasn't been reported but is easy to find on the ONS website is that the gender pay gap is now "only" 19.8 per cent.

Yes, men are just paid a fifth more than women. Lucky us.

Rave

Three cheers for the School of the Blindingly Obvious for providing further evidence of the truth that dare not speak its name: that having children is not a walk in the park and might really be as miserable as it looks. The study found that participants eulogised parenthood more after they were shown figures regarding the cost of raising a child. They're kidding themselves, in other words.

We already told you so last year, when The IoS reported findings by the behavioural economist Dr Nick Powdthavee. He said: "When you measure how happy parents are on a happiness index, they report either an insignificant difference in happiness or lower levels of happiness compared with non-parents." And only a week ago a major new study from the Economic and Social Research Council revealed that: "The happiest relationships are those less than five years in duration, between two people educated to degree level, who have no children and where the man is employed."

Nonetheless, in surveys which ask parents how happy they are rather than measuring it scientifically, the parents all claim that they are happier for having babies. To paraphrase Larkin: They suck you in, these mums and dads. They may not mean to, but they do. They're wretched with the kids they have, and want to inflict them on you, too.

Don't be fooled by the baby propaganda; just say no to kids.

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