There have always been differences in the types of work men and women have done. However. the trend in modern times has been for both men and women to have greater freedom of choice in terms of employment. Some people might say that there is no need to go further. However. in my view, wherever possible, gender equality should be encouraged.
There may indeed be good arguments for allowing certain posts to remain predominantly male or female. Where all-male or all-female groups exist, there may be a need for related posts to be held by men and women respectively. Patients in all-female hospital wards, for example. would probably appreciate having female nurses to look after them. It could also be argued that certain jobs requiring a great deal of physical strength, coal mining or loggingI for example. should continue to be done mainly by men.
However, in the vast majority of situations, making occupations more open to both genders has distinct advantages. Men and women can bring slightty different perspectives and approaches to a job. Female police officers, for example. may have a greater understanding of domestic violence and a better range of strategies for dealing with this problem. Male primary school teachers probably have a better understanding ofthe needs of young boys and can serve as good role models for them.
The changes that result from allowing men into female-dominated occupations and vice versa may be subtle, but they are far-reaching. However, to benefit the most from this development, it is important not to expect males and fernates to appmach work in identical ways.
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