This post is written in memory of those feminists, their children and the men who were killed by the Nazi Third Reich during the Second World War for spreading the message of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The discrimination of women by the Nazis is commonly associated with the triple word slogan of ‘Kinder, Kuche, Kirche’ which translates into ‘children, kitchen, church’. Contrary to popular thought it was not the Nazis who coined the 3 Ks. It was the last German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhem II, who is credited with having uttered those words as advice to how American suffragettes ought to be conducting themselves.

Nevertheless, the 3 Ks encapsulated the dogma used by the Nazi party to dictate to women what their position was in society. In fact, women were denied a place in society as we know it in contemporary terms to mean a place of public domain. The Nazis confined women to the home in a privacy capacity by the strictures of the 3 Ks.

Hitler hated any type of collaboration which went against his agenda of male Aryan supremacy and in 1934, during a speech to the National Socialist Women’s Organisation, he told the women that their place was with their husband, children, home and family. The reference to ‘church’ was left out probably because of Hitler’s hatred for the traditional Catholic and Protestant churches. He later banned the National Socialist Women’s Organisation and had many of the women imprisoned in Nazi camps.

Ironically, Hitler chose a woman to oversee the implementation of the subjugation of women. Gertrud Scholtz-Klink was appointed as leader of the Nazi Women’s League. Her central message to German women was that their mission was to serve their man’s existence every moment of their lives.

It is not known how many women were killed for political activity by the Nazis.

What do you think your child’s life will look life in 10 years? My daughter is 12 years old now and in 2022, at the age of 22, she would have taken her place in the world as an adult. My hope is that she will be living in a world in which opportunities for people will be distributed fairly and evenly; and one in which she will be treated equally as a woman in every sphere of her life.

This is my dream for her but dreams can be shattered by many variables one of which is an economic environment that gives rise to levels of inequality that act as barriers to people being able to participate in society according to their ability.

I deplore the patriarchal notion of motherhood which places a mother’s worry firmly in the private sphere of the domestic domain. The difficulties that our children face requires a solution that comes out of a coalition building consensus which reflects the fact that some of the drivers of global inequality were caused by global actions or inactions.

Feminist mothering is about reshaping societies so that mothers are recognised as both contributors to and recipients of global justice. Starvation, famine and climate change are mother issues. Being a mother is always talked about in the narrow terms of ‘choice’ i.e a mother either stays at home or goes out to work. The concept of political fairness is, very wrongly, rarely associated with mothering.

The Insight Report: Global Risks 2012 identifies five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological. All these affect mothers. The economic situation is what I refer to above. Environmental disasters led to famine situations, a scarcity of resources and the destruction of eco systems. All of these affect a mother’s ability to feed her children at a micro level.

Geopolitical risks go to the root of the stability of our world. Pervasive entrenched corruption, as an example, deprives mothers living in villages in third world countries of access to funds to set up small businesses which will bring in an income. Societal concerns give rise to issues about maternal and child health issues. Lastly, technological disasters at a macro level because of the strong links with the other four factors.

Leaders at Davos may not in any sense have factored mothers into their stakeholder engagement plans but there is much reason to do so. Remodelling the world economic system is THE plan for 2012 so a genuinely innovative inclusive consideration of the gender dividend which includes mothers is called for. The gender dividend is also about mothers who do not have the opportunity to sit in a boardroom.

This post was originally published on the Huffington Post UK site.

In the days of vinyl records there was always a B Side to every single released. Often the B Side slipped under the radar because the A side was such a thumping crowd puller.

I was reminded of this when watching news coverage of the riots. The parenting skills of the underclass and the working-class were denounced as lacking in redeeming virtues. The B Side of middle class parenting, however, went unscathed. There was no actual reference made of ‘how wonderful middle class parents are’ but the traits associated with it were touted as being exemplar.

The car crash children of the riots, it was said, do not have parents who spend time with them nor read to them nor sit down for meals with them, and the list goes on. Well, I must be living in a parallel universe because I am a member of the middle class parenting fraternity and I despair at what I see.

Middle class parenting is a wasteland of missed opportunities because middle class parents ring fence childhood into which the behaviours of discipline, manners, ambition and academic achievement shall not stray. Middle class parenting is now about letting children do what they want to do because they are the best judges of what they need.

When questioned about whether they (the parents) worry about how their offspring will turn out the answer is always, ‘it’ll be alright’. This is the middle class parenting mantra. ‘It’ll be alright’ makes it seem, almost like a magic trick, that a well adjusted adult will appear at some stage along the continuum of growing up regardless of what has gone on before.

Middle class parents indulge in tick box parenting that does not have much substance. Engagement with their children rotates around meal times, bath times and Sunday visits to pizza restaurants. The point of having a meal is to keep off hunger. Normal family meals aren’t dinner parties where people talk and converse. How much time during a family meal time is there really to chat after you have told your child to stop slouching, eat up and not to play with the food on their plate?

Bath time is a bulwark of middle class parenting but this activity stops at the age of about 4. What type of parental engagement evolves to take the place of bath time? I have on numerous occasions witnessed family Sundays at Pizza Express. A family sits and eats together but, quite often, the father is on his mobile phone, the mother is looking bored and the children are fidgeting. Note though that the tick box of parental engagement has been fulfilled but one wonders what happens when it is not meal or bath time?

Discipline is sadly lacking in many middle class homes but this is often held up as a trophy prize that the parents are proud of. Children of the underclass and working class may be accused of physical thuggery but there is a certain type of thuggery taking hold among the middle classes that masks itself as ‘activism’. Recently a PR executive supported her daughter’s criminal act of damage against a top clothing store because it was a protest against the owner’s supposed tax avoidance. During the austerity cuts demonstration it was mainly middle class youth who occupied and damaged shops in protest against tax cuts.

Someone said to me recently that middle class children will be driving taxis in China at this rate. Ambition is seen as a word that is anathema to the state of childhood. Children must not be pushed or forced into taking an interest in academia because it interferes with their creativity. ‘It will be alright’ will produce good results without any effort. Books feature prominently in middle class homes but the children are too busy playing on their expensive IT equipment to bother with the old print material.

The malaise of middle class parenting equals the abdication of parental responsibility. Put simply, it is lazy self-serving parenting that does not serve the interests of the child.

The perpetual dilemma of standing at the school gates wondering whether to talk to the other mothers is something most mothers will go through. The dilemma presents itself if you are the odd one out. You will know whether you are the odd one out from day 1 when the other mothers flock like birds of prey towards the ones whom they recognise as being ‘one of their kind’ and tribal alliances are instantly established.

The tribes normally consist of ‘mothers who live in the same area’, ‘mothers who shop in the same area’ and ‘mothers with rich husbands’. You don’t actually have to do anything to be in or out, the criteria is some sort of unwritten rule that hangs in the air and is passed down each year by virtue of telepathy or, maybe, by an infectious virus that only certain mothers are amenable to.

The politics of the school gates, to me, is one of the worst demonstrations of the divide and rule system practised by women who have nothing to contribute except their own level of low self-esteem which is inflated into superiority. What is despicable is that these women often teach their children (daughters especially) to propagate the same in the playground.