Searching for welfare, work and gender equality
AbstractThe paper describes to which extent European welfare states support an individual adult worker model and how the current policy should be assessed in terms of gender equality. Although a more individual design of welfare policies is clearly recognizable, the paper also illustrates the large gap between the implicit assumptions of the adult worker model and the actual reality of most European Member States. Only a few countries, with the Nordic countries as the most well-known examples, have developed a system of child care arrangements that seems to be based on the assumption that fathers and mothers will both be fully engaged in the labour market. Others countries have invested in policies which allow for large interruption in labour force participation or which allow the combination of work and care by introducing part-time working hours. Overall the actual policy design does not indicate a high profile of gender equality. Perhaps the most challenging problem of the current redesign of the welfare state is that family support policies can only to a certain extent been redesigned in accordance with employment policies. Although some women participate on an equal footing with men, the ‘dual earner, gender specialized, family model’, which is geared towards greater, but not full equality, seems more feasible.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by WWWforEurope in its series WWWforEurope Working Papers series with number 59.
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
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Postal: WWWforEurope Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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