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MOST of the talk about balancing work and family is fuelled by elite feminists who have discovered they are not superwomen and cannot "have it all".

Having failed to get their partners to share housework and childcare, they now demand government and employers enable them to "balance" work and family.

Latest suggestions for balancing acts come from Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward whose paper, Striking the Balance: women, men, work and family, was launched by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission last month.

But what's often missing from the debate is recognition that an employer's responsibility is to make profits for shareholders.

Most employers cannot afford to provide rooms and babysitters so their employees can breastfeed babies a la Natasha Stott Despoja in Parliament House.

Also overlooked in feminist preoccupations is that large sectors of the community have neither work nor families.

Dr Bob Birrell's study, Men and Women Apart: The decline of partnering in Australia, showed a growing underclass -- about 30 per cent -- of single men were not in full-time work and lacked the economic resources to support a family.

For this underclass, esoteric concepts of "balancing work and family" are daydreams.

The Herald Sun recently reported that 150,000 Victorian children lived in families where no one had a job.

And the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 24 per cent of women will not have children. One reason for this "infertility" is feminist focus on careers ahead of babies.

Women postpone child-bearing till their mid-30s when there is a sharp decline in fertility and many will have no families to "balance" against their careers.

But there is one group Pru Goward could help -- the 100,000 women who each year feel they have to resort to abortion because of financial or social disincentives to starting or adding to families.

For some, the babies they abort may be the only family they will ever have.

THE Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's failure to help is curious in view of its commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which mandates protection for children before as well as after birth.

In a recent survey by A Current Affair on what women want, the top two wants were love and motherhood.

Predictably, the survey was rubbished by feminist Eva Cox. Feminists constantly confuse equality with identity of function. Perhaps Eva and Pru would be happier in Spain which has a new law requiring men to "share domestic responsibilities and the care of children and elderly family members".

These feminist laws are likely to depress the Spanish birth rate, already one of the lowest in the world, even further.

One doubts however whether such "balancing" will be palatable to feminists.

Pru Goward could accept the suggestion of the Herald Sun reader that she butt out of his home life, or she could help men without jobs, women without children and the babies without life.

Alas, she will probably prefer to promote the new Barcelona washing machine -- a response to the Spanish "equality" law -- which uses fingerprint technology to prevent the same person using it twice in a row.




BABETTE FRANCIS is co-ordinator of the Endeavour Forum, a counter- feminist, anti-abortion group



Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN