Rachida Dati, France’s Minister of Justice, has been the
object of a lot of criticism for returning to work immediately after giving
Curiously, the most vicious criticism comes from some who
call themselves feminists on the grounds that they think Miss
Dati should have exploited her statutory maternity leave to the full.
Yet it is Miss Dati who is the true feminist, demonstrating
that women’s equality is not a matter of claiming rights but of living up to
Entrepreneurs understand this. We have no maternity or
paternity leave, no statutory sick pay, and no paid annual leave.
We know we can choose how long we take off work, but we are
responsible for the consequences of that choice. If our businesses fail because
we are not there, it does not matter whether we had a good excuse or not.
We have every right to demand that the leaders of much
bigger organisations – especially in the public sector – have a similar sense
By setting a good example, Miss Dati has shown others up for
their lack of responsibility – hence the vitriolic criticism – but, for the
same reason, she deserves the support of all who admire the work ethic.
Vive la Dati!