No, of course schools can't force them to stay in the workplace.
I was talking about society, but we can include schools in that, too.
(I'm thinking here of a controversial survey of female Yale undergraduates that appeared in the NY Times a while back).
I remember that survey. This goes back, I think, to my italicized point about the very foundations of society needing to shift in order for women to not feel like such a choice is necessary. I don't know what each Yale undergrad was thinking, but I can imagine that the current climate in many U.S. places of employment--severely limited maternal and often non-existent paternal leave; over-reliance on the same full-time workers instead of a variety of part-timers, high-priced child-care, etc.--in part fuels the drive for one to leave the workplace in favor of offspring.
Major changes on both the social program/employer level and on the level of each individual couple (more couples choosing for the husband to take on childcare duties) will be needed to get us to the point where all or many
young female grads no longer feel compelled to stay home to do right by their kids. Then women staying home will become just what it is: a choice as little charged as whether to have lima beans or bok choy for dinner.
On a happier note, I saw a Pampers ad the other day in which the caregiver was male and in jeans. On a sadder note, this was so rare as to make me happy.
And I don't like the idea that the eventual decision about whether to work or not is only "HER choice." If women deserve to have a choice in this, shouldn't men?
I used "her" as a proxy for she and her male partner. Hopefully, both will have agreed on the subject.