I READ with interest Rosemary Goring’s article (“Pensions are the last bastion of industrialised sexism”, The Herald, April 18). I was born during the Second World War and recall, as a girl, being regarded as being of the inferior sex. My mother often explained that “girls are different”.
From primary to secondary schooldays girls were pointed firmly in the direction of “female pursuits” such as needlework and knitting, both of which I loathed.
On starting work in the 1960, I was paid £50 per annum less than a male of a similar age and qualifications and was made aware that had I married, I would have had to leave my job.
Furthermore, it was blatantly obvious that male employees were given placements in what were regarded as the most prestigious service points, resulting in their better promotion prospects. The playing field was certainly not level and female pensions were adversely affected.
Also, my mother depended on my father for the provision of her state pension which she did not receive until she was 70 as father did not retire until that age and, as my father had a low income, both parents would have died in destitution had my sibling and I not provided them with financial support. This affected our ability to save for our own old age.
Certain things were regarded as being unsuitable for a female and I was told that “politics are not the thing for a woman” and another interest, stamp collecting, was “only for old men and little boys”. I have retained my interest in both.
Could it be that one way to close the pension gap for women is to regard each girl and woman as an individual rather than an object belonging to an imaginary model of domesticity and for women to stop accepting the labelling that ruins their social and economic competency?
Margaret MH Lyth,
28 Gardenside Street, Uddingston.
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