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Why girls should be schooled in finding a supportive — not rich — husband

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
June 15, 2012

Should schoolgirls be given classes on how to find a husband who will be supportive of their career goals, dreams, ambitions, and be an all-around equal partner? A leading educator in Britain says they should.

Helen Fraser, the chief executive of the Girls' Day School Trust, tells a group gathered at a conference in London that if girls want to avoid a life of diapers and dishes, they have to learn how to find a husband who will both help around the house and be encouraging of their career choices, reports the Telegraph.

Her idea was inspired by comments made by Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg's who said: "The most important career choice you'll make is who you marry."

"The former managing director of Penguin Books [Fraser] said that girls can have it all — career, marriage and motherhood — but they must learn to pick the right partner to accomplish it," reports the Telegraph.

Also see: Women now use technology more than men

Her comments are met with cautious optimism from David Ness, director of the Student Counselling and Career Centre at the University of Manitoba.

At the heart of it, he likes the idea. He agrees that choosing a partner who is supportive can be critical to a person's development, regardless of their gender and sexuality. But he would take the theory a step further to include a person's social network and family.

"It is important to most students that their social network, whatever that's comprised of, is supportive of their [career] choice," he says. "That's almost always going to include family, a romantic partner if they have one, friends and others. It's hard to pick something that you're receiving no support for, especially if you're a young adult."

Also see: Canada ranks No. 1 for women's rights out of G20 countries

He says that although his career centre occasionally see students who are struggling with limiting messages from romantic partners, they more commonly see students who are struggling with very rigid, narrow requirements or expectations from family or culture. Because many of the students he sees are not yet in a serious romantic relationship, he suspects they assume their future partner will be accepting and supportive of whatever they choose.

So how do girls get to the point where they choose partners and other social contacts with people who are supportive and encouraging?

Ness points to programs, such as Dove's Social Mission, to help empower young girls to have more self-confidence as a way to help set them on the right path.

"If young girls can feel more confident and self-assured, have higher esteem, that might help them not end up with people who are like that," he says.

Watch the video below where a panel of men and women discuss how important money is in a relationship.

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