Posts Tagged ‘mothering’
Manuela Maier, 2nd from R – her husband, Thomas – son, Florian
Ten years into the 21st century, most schools in Germany still end at lunchtime, a tradition that dates back nearly 250 years. That has powerfully sustained the housewife/mother image of German lore and was long credited with producing well-bred, well-read burghers…
Across the developed world, a combination of the effects of birth control, social change, political progress and economic necessity has produced a tipping point: numerically, women now match or overtake men in the work force and in education.
In the developing world, too, the striving of women and girls for schooling, small loans and status is part of another immense upheaval: the rise of nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In both these worlds, women can remain trapped by tradition. Now, a social revolution — peaceful, but profound — is driving a search for new ways of combining family life and motherhood with a more powerful role for women…
The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany.
Now, in the face of economic necessity, it is crumbling: one of the lowest birthrates in the world, the specter of labor shortages and slipping education standards have prompted a rethink. Since 2003, nearly a fifth of Germany’s 40,000 schools have phased in afternoon programs, and more plan to follow suit.
“This is a taboo we just can’t afford anymore; the country needs women to be able to both work and have children,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the German labor minister. A mother of seven and doctor-turned-politician, she baffles housewives and childless career women alike, not to mention many men in her Christian Democratic Union.
The spread of all-day schooling in Germany, a trend she considers “irreversible,” is a sign of the times, Ms. von der Leyen said in an interview. “The 21st century belongs to women.”
RTFA. Long, interesting, many example, many avenues for readers who care to understand history – to understand change.