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The government has discovered email and says it will empower women like never before. That is what the minister for women, Barbara Roche, claims.

She has put out a Cabinet Office press release this morning saying that teachers and nurses ought to make better use of email because many mothers these days are too busy to visit people directly. Email can form that essential communication gap.

Ms Roche is backed up by a report - Better Services, Better Working Lives - which concludes that the provision of health and education services is based around mothers being at home. New technology would provide extra flexibility and bring these basic services into the modern world.

"Women are an important barometer of how well we are delivering for everyone. They are the biggest users and providers of health and education services and are well placed to tell us what we need to, and in many cases already are, delivering," Ms Roche said.

Recommending that people make greater use of email in their professional lives is an excellent idea - fast, informal and simple communication can't be faulted. But while the government has put its backing to the recommendations, it hasn't addressed the practicality or structure which such an approach would need. ®

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