Celebrating an historic first

A message from Fair Agenda member Nat:

A couple of months ago Kelly O’Dwyer made history as the first woman to have a baby while serving in Cabinet. And this fortnight she’s back in Parliament for the first time since taking time to care for her newborn.

As someone who had a baby the week before the Minister; who has stood with other Fair Agenda members to stop cuts to working parents’ time to care; and who knows that it’s estimated around half of working mothers face pregnancy discrimination - I think this is an important milestone to celebrate.

That’s why I’ll be dropping in to Ms O’Dwyer’s office next week to pass on my thanks for breaking through this critical glass ceiling. Can you add a message of support and congratulations to my card to Minister O'Dwyer?

I was horrified to see reports last month that Ms O’Dwyer had faced attempts to oust her while she was taking time to care for her newborn. Whatever you think of her politics, I think we can all agree that no one should be targeted while they’re on parental leave.

I have been lucky enough to spend the weeks since the birth of my daughter: physically recovering, caring for and feeding my daughter, and getting to know her. These early months are precious - and critical for the health and welfare of both babies and new parents.

We need more employers and parents in positions of leadership to recognise and normalise taking time to care for family. It’s something Ms O’Dwyer and I agree on -- in fact before the attacks occurred, Ms O’Dwyer had spoken out about the importance of examples of women who have combined both a family and a high profile career in politics.

That’s why I believe it’s extra important to celebrate this historic first.

We need to celebrate acts that lead us closer to the flexible work practices that benefit us all -- and show those who tried to attack Ms O’Dwyer during her parental leave that the public won’t stand for it. 

Cultural shifts towards more flexible, family friendly work arrangements are dependent on woman like Ms O'Dwyer leading the way. By being the first woman in cabinet to go on maternity leave, Kelly O'Dwyer has made it easier for the next woman. And whatever your political views I think this is something to be celebrated and supported.

I hope you will  add your message of support to my card here: http://www.fairagenda.org/kellyodwyer_card

Thanks for all you do as a Fair Agenda member, 


New mum and Fair Agenda member