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Women’s Work in Australia: Trends, Issues and Prospects


  • Alison Preston

    () (Curtin University)

  • John Burgess

    (University of Newcastle)


Notwithstanding massive change in women’s educational outcomes, labour market activity and fertility levels, the last two decades has seen no change in the share of participating women in the full-time labour market, little change in the overall distribution of women across jobs and little change in the size of the Australian gender pay gap. These facts are not easily accounted for by conventional neo-classical theory suggesting the presence of some strong and persistent normative forces (e.g. ideology with respect to gender roles) in the shaping of women’s labour market outcomes. This paper explores the prospects for gender equality within contemporary Australia and concludes that, in the absence of political will and fundamental institutional and social change, the prospects are grim.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison Preston & John Burgess, 2003. "Women’s Work in Australia: Trends, Issues and Prospects," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(4), pages 497-518, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:497-518

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    More about this item


    Economics of gender; Labour force and employment; Time allocation and labour supply;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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