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A manifesto for achieving a new equality between the sexes in family life, drawing on international research and case studies.

If we live in an age of equality, why are women are still left holding the baby?

At school, university, in the workplace and in relationships, it seems that equality for women is in the bag. But once they have children, this illusion is swiftly shattered.

Becoming a mother is a tremendously rewarding experience, but women still find themselves bearing primary responsibility for bringing up their children, to the detriment of everything else in their lives.
Ranging from antenatal care and maternity leave, to work practices, relationship dynamics and beyond, Shattered exposes the inequalities perpetuated in modern family life by the state, employers and the parenting industry and suggests imaginative ways forward to achieve more balanced and fulfilling lives.
Engaging and provocative, Shattered is a call to arms for a revolution in parenting.


I was utterly gripped. This is powerful stuff. Rebecca Asher's take of the culture of parenting is radical, original and refreshingly spirited, a heartfelt call for change

Viv Groskop, Daily Telegraph

Asher is an elegant writer and a lucid thinker... This is a polemical book, stuffed full of research and case studies; yet it is gripping enough to read through the night. It left me fired up with reformist zeal

Jemima Lewis, Mail on Sunday

A furious, but immensely articulate, puncturing of the myth that the nirvana of parental equality has been achieved... An intelligent, thoroughly researched and highly readable contribution to a debate that urgently needs to be aired in the corridors of power, as well as through gritted teeth over snatched cups of bitter coffee in baby and toddler groups

Susan Flockhart, Sunday Herald

Asher wants a revolution, and her conviction is invigorating... This book should be read by parents and policymakers alike

Rachel Seiffert, Guardian

Should be required reading for policy makers and new parents alike... This is the academic counterpart to the roller coaster of emotional experience that forms the basis for books such as Rachel Cusk's A Life's Work

Rebecca Taylor, Time Out

Excellent and readable book

The Economist

A brilliant and refreshingly honest contribution to the debate on how we raise our children... Asher writes in a way that skilfully pursues a compelling argument and thoughtful solutions in an accessible manner. As such, the book deserves a wide audience

Professor Tanya Byron

Her writing on motherhood belongs to the brisk, outward-looking, pamphleteering tradition of Mary Wollstonecraft. Asher does not interrogate herself; she interrogates the world

New Statesman

This insightful, thrillingly honest, well-argued and often very funny book should be required reading for all thinking parents and prospective parents... Nothing is as useful as a book that is both heartfelt and intellectually rigorous, and no subject is as important as the way we raise our children. What Asher has achieved here is superb

Chris Cleave

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2012


    272 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    May 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

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    • Amazon Kindle NZ
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