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What instruments to foster what kind of gender equality?: the problem of gendered inequalities in the division of paid and unpaid work

By Jane Lewis


The promotion of gender equality requires policymakers to define the goal: equality as “sameness” (tomen), or more recognition of “difference”, particularly in relation tomotherhood and the unpaid work of care. The problem of progressing gender equality has become more pressing with rapid family and labour market change, and with the trend in welfare state restructuring since the 1990s, which has emphasised the importance of all adults being active in the labour market. This article explores first, the development of policy at the EU level, where there has always been an explicit commitment to gender equality, and shows that it has proved difficult to keep the goal of gender equality in the centre of the policy agenda. In addition, as section II shows, the policy approaches of member states vary hugely; their policy logics are profoundly different. The article concludes by suggesting that if gender equality is to be prioritised, and a genuine choice to be given to women and men in relation to both paid work and care work, a wide range of policies relating to carework in particular are needed, and that these must address men as well as women

Topics: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform, HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Documentation Francaise
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:15006
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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