Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century

Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century

New Barriers and Continuing Constraints

Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette

Both women and men strive to achieve a work and family balance, but does this imply more or less equality? Does the persistence of gender and class inequalities refute the notion that lives are becoming more individualised? Leading international authorities document how gender inequalities are changing and how many inequalities of earlier eras are being eradicated. However, this book shows there are new barriers and constraints that are slowing progress in attaining a more egalitarian society. Taking the new global economy into account, the expert contributors to this book examine the conflicts between different types of feminisms, revise old debates about ‘equality’ and ‘difference’ in the gendered nature of work and care, and propose new and innovative policy solutions.

Chapter 10: Within-Household Inequalities Across Classes? Management and Control of Money

Fran Bennett, Jerome De Henau and Sirin Sung

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, family and gender policy, labour policy

Extract

Fran Bennett, Jerome De Henau and Sirin Sung INTRODUCTION Any analysis conducted at the level of the household obscures the effect of gender inequalities within households (Jenkins 1991; Himmelweit 2002). In particular, treating household income as pooled obscures women’s ‘hidden’ poverty within households and the existence of gendered inequalities in the control of household resources. Gender-sensitive policy analysis is needed to go ‘beyond the front door’ to open up the ‘closed box’ of the family/household unit (Daly 2000; Lister 2000). The case for examining within-household inequalities is persuasive, not only on moral grounds but also to improve policy design (Jenkins 1994). This chapter describes some results from a project which investigates how public policies in Britain may affect within-household inequalities in male/female couples, and how their effectiveness can be reinforced or undermined by such inequalities.1 More precisely, the project as a whole aims to explore alternative approaches to understanding the behavioural and distributional impact of policy change which take account of gender inequalities in power and influence within the household, and to use such approaches to analyse the effects of actual and potential changes in fiscal, social security and associated labour market policies within the UK. The focus of this chapter is money management and control over household resources. A growing range of literature has recently explored the intra-household allocation of resources and financial control (Pahl 1989; Goode et al. 1998; Vogler 1998; Vogler et al. 2008a and 2008b; Sonnenberg 2008). Results tend to show that when it comes to...

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