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IELTS essay, topic: Women, not men, should stay at home to care for children (agree/disagree)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 6 Academic book, Practice Test 29

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

It must be a woman who stays at home to care for children. Men are not suited to this kind of work. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

Traditionally in many parts of the world, it has been women who have stayed at home to care for children. This has led to the ideology and expectation that women are more suited to this type of work than men.

The overwhelming status quo where women stay at home to care for the children probably derives from the fact that women are the ones who have to actually give birth to children and, following that, they are the ones who for the early part of a child’s life have to feed the child until it is weaned. In times past, this state of affairs probably led to the women assuming the permanent role of carer for the home and children, whilst men went out to work, whether it was to gather food or work in fields or factories.

In spite of the fact that this became what was expected in family dynamics, it does not mean that men are necessarily less suited to caring for a child than women. It is very possible for men to care for a child, even from birth onwards in today’s world. Babies’ milk formula can be mixed by anyone and fed to a child. The fact that many women today choose not to do this again does not mean that they are better suited by nature to care for the child.

Suitability for childcare is a matter for individual temperament and aptitude. Not many people, whether they are men or women, feel totally confident and knowledgeable about how to care for a baby or young child at the start. They need advice from their own mothers and fathers, midwives or from books. It is only from experience that skill with childcare comes and this skill can be acquired regardless of gender.

All in all, I do not agree with the statement that men are less suited to childcare than women. I believe that aptitude to look after children is a matter of individual temperament, not gender-specific inherited qualities.

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Simone Braverman is the founder of and the author of several renowned IELTS preparation books, including Ace the IELTS, Target Band 7, the High Scorer's Choice practice test series, and IELTS Success Formula. Since 2005, Simone has been committed to making IELTS preparation accessible and effective through her books and online resources. Her work has helped 100,000's of students worldwide achieve their target scores and live their dream lives. When Simone isn't working on her next IELTS book, video lesson, or coaching, she enjoys playing the guitar or rollerblading.