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Gender Equality in Time: Low-Paid Mothers' Paid and Unpaid Work in the UK


  • Tracey Warren
  • Gillian Pascall
  • Elizabeth Fox


Policies concerning time use are crucial to parents' experiences of paid and unpaid work and the reconciliation of work and family life. In heterosexual-couple households, gender inequalities in the distribution of paid work and care, working hours, and responsibility for children's schedules mean that mothers experience pressure on time and their ability to work, care, and manage households. Via qualitative interviews conducted in 2005-6, this contribution explores the time strategies of a sample of low-waged mothers in England whose choices around unpaid and paid work are most constrained as a result of the UK's limited policies. The authors discuss alternative policy scenarios, finding that respondents supported policies that challenge gender inequalities in work time, enhancing their time in paid employment and their partners' time for unpaid work. Higher-quality part-time work, shorter full-time hours, and parental leave for fathers would begin to address time inequalities in the UK and elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Tracey Warren & Gillian Pascall & Elizabeth Fox, 2010. "Gender Equality in Time: Low-Paid Mothers' Paid and Unpaid Work in the UK," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 193-219.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:16:y:2010:i:3:p:193-219 DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2010.499997

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tania Burchardt, 2008. "Time and Income Poverty," CASE Reports casereport57, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Wodon, Quentin & Beegle, Kathleen, 2006. "Labor Shortages Despite Underemployment? Seasonality in Time Use in Malawi," MPRA Paper 11083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Alan Gelb, 2001. "Gender and Growth : Africa's Missed Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 9789, The World Bank.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 135-141, March.
    5. Apps, Patricia, 2003. "Gender, Time Use and Models of the Household," IZA Discussion Papers 796, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
    7. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Poverty Measurement and Analysis," MPRA Paper 45362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Maria Sagrario Floro & Marjorie Miles, 2003. "Time use, work and overlapping activities: evidence from Australia," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 881-904, November.
    9. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    10. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(2), March.
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