In case you have missed recent events, Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom are the two remaining candidates for the leadership spot and whilst they may both be women they would appear to be quite different in one respect. One is a Mother and the other is not.
Now as far as I am concerned it makes no difference to me one way or another. I would not be writing about this if it were not for the fact that the one who is a Mother, Andrea Leadsom, seems to think that having children gives her the edge over Theresa May because it somehow shows that she had a "very real stake" in the future of the country.
Her comments in an interview with The Times has sparked outrage, not only from women who do not have children, for whatever reason that may be, but also amongst other Tory MP’s Some have called her comments depressing and divisive.
As a woman who is childless, not by choice, I find the comments totally insensitive to the many thousands of women who are in the same position. I guess that many women who have chosen not to have children will also feel the same way.
Statistics show that 20% of people over the age of 50 in the UK do not have children and, by 2030, 2 million people will be over 65 without children. Is Andrea Leadsom saying that none of these people have a stake in our collective future? That none of them care about future generations because they didn’t produce them?
The fact that Theresa May felt forced to do an interview where she seemingly reluctantly talked about the fact that she and her husband had no children was, as far as I am concerned out of order. It is no one’s business but theirs.
This issue has of course sparked some emotional comments from some of the women who have had womb cancer. For some of the younger ones, it has opened up wounds that had barely healed. Being told you have cancer and need to have your womb removed, thereby removing your chances of having a child of your own is traumatic enough. But then to have someone in a position like Andrea Leadsom suggest that you care less about the future is a kick below the belt.
This is not just a women’s issue – it affects men aswell. There are many varied reasons why someone, male or female does not have children. It may be by choice, on medical grounds or simply because it just never happened. All these reasons are valid and people should never be judged by them.
We all have a vested interest in the future. It is in our own interests to work together for the greater good. Divisive and insensitive comments and attitudes do nothing to help foster an inclusive society.
xx Kaz xx