Miss Swinson, who has a one-year-old son, spoke out during a debate about how to recruit 1million more people into the care sector.
Former Lib Dem care minister Paul Burstow warned that women make up 82 per cent of the care work force, and many young men do not know about how to get a job in the industry.
Miss Swinson said the solution could be getting young boys to play with dolls earlier in life, so that they might grow up to become a carer.
She told MPs: If we need to expand the number of care workers and there is a huge shortage of men in the care profession, the biggest pool available for expansion is boys and young men, and we need to get them to consider caring as a profession.
‘Again, stereotyping is important, as are the messages we send children about the roles of men and women, and whether boys can be nurturing and caring and – yes, dare I say it? – play with dolls.
‘We should see habits of care and nurture as being just as appropriate for boys and men as for girls and women. It is important, and it will help us plug the skills gap.’
And maybe if we encouraged men to wear dresses, there would be more of them in the “caring” professions, too.
Jo Swinson, the gift that keeps on giving.