Read the article 'Empowering women as mothers and leaders' and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. Pre-reading activity: Before reading the article have students divide into groups of 4 and ask them to discuss and jot down their thoughts on whether they think women can be successful mothers and leaders in the workplace? After about 5 – 7 minutes discussion, ask students to appoint a spokesperson and write up on whiteboard their findings.
2. Students will then read the article on ‘Empowering women as mothers and leaders’. Are any of their findings discussed in the article?
3. Ask students to speak to their mothers or female carers and ask them if they ever felt they were discriminated against at work just because they were female? What form did the discrimination take?
4. Did they feel there was a penalty for falling pregnant and possibly a promotion would be denied to them because of this? Did they feel empowered to deal with it themselves or where did they go for help?
5. If their parent or carer returned to work after their child was born did they feel that the workplace was child-friendly? Did they feel that the workplace was still working under a patriarchal structure?
6. How did your father or male carer feel about parenting after you were born? Perhaps he was the main carer in the home. Did he feel that he was being judged by his mates based on the ‘out-dated stereotype about ‘what a real man does’?
1. Go to the website www.gracepapers.com.au and look through it carefully. Do you think it is well done? Would it attract you to joining if you were in the situation of planning a baby and intending to stay in the workforce or returning to the workforce? Do you think there is enough to attract men to join? What would you add to the website or what would you take out?
2. Prue Gilbert found the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises strengthened her faith and helped her gain a sense of her life’s purpose. What do you know about the Spiritual Exercises? Go to the website ignatianspirituality.com and read about the Ignatian Way. You could also watch the Series introduction video. You may like to ask the teacher to ask someone to come and speak to the class about Ignatian spirituality and how you, as a student, can use it in your everyday life to help empower you.
For the Younger Students
1. Ask the younger students whether their mums work in the home or go out to work every day? When they go home ask them to ask their parent/carer whether they feel valued for the work they do? Do they feel that their workplace understands if they need to take time off to look after them if they are not well? Does Mum or Carer who works in the home feel she is valued by the family? Tell them about Prue Gilbert and the organisation she has started and why she felt it necessary to help people to balance worklife and homelife.
2. Try to do something special for Mum, Dad or Carer this week to make them feel valued and empowered at home. Remind them that you love them and appreciate what they do for you.
3. Tell the students about St. Ignatius Loyola and how he always found ‘God in all things’. Would they be able to do that even if the situation seemed bad at the time. St Ignatius always found good in all people. Can you do this even with people who don’t always treat you well at school? Turn to the person next to you and say one nice thing about them. Make a list of words that would build up someone’s self esteem.