Women and the Labour Market: A Contradiction for Social Work
Over the years in teaching on social work courses, we have observed women using social work training as a way out of unemployment and/or poverty for themselves and their families. Some of the women on the Social Service Needs of Women courses expressed guilt about the better working conditions they experienced in comparison with women clients. We see the feelings of guilt as a recognition of commonalities between women social workers and clients. However, these commonalities cannot be expressed easily because of the way the social work task is understood and carried out in their social work agencies. This is another example of institutionalised sexism where women social workers are called upon to reinforce women's responsibilities as wives, mothers and carers, and to ignore the poverty and employment issues facing women clients.
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