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Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change

Essays in Honour of Günther Schmid

Edited by Hugh Mosley and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The original essays in this book have been written by a number of leading international experts in the field of labour market studies to honour the intellectual contribution and lifetime achievement of Günther Schmid.
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Chapter 6: Gender mainstreaming and European employment policy

Jill Rubery


Jill Rubery* INTRODUCTION The significance of gender issues for understanding employment and welfare systems and for analysing cross-sectional differences between national employment regimes is now widely recognized, backed by a large and growing literature (Crompton et al., 1990; Lewis, 1992, 1993; Daly, 1996; Duncan, 1995; Dex et al., 1993; Folbre, 1994; Lane, 1993; Sainsbury, 1994, 1996; Mósesdóttir, 1995; Rubery, 1988; Rubery et al., 1998; Rubery, Smith and Fagan, 1999; O’Reilly and Fagan, 1998). However, this integration of gender issues into mainstream employment and welfare research is comparatively recent. A landmark in the development of this new integrated approach to gender and employment and welfare analysis was the forming of a high-level expert group by the OECD to consider the issues of women and structural change (OECD, 1994). Günther Schmid was a member of this expert group whose analysis called for the development of a new gender contract to reflect the changing realities in the organization of gender relations inside and outside work. This new gender contract would, it was argued, not only promote gender equality but also contribute to a more efficient and rational organization of societies, as the old gender contract, based on a male breadwinner and a female carer, no longer reflected either actual behaviour or aspirations. This pioneering work by the OECD set the stage for the subsequent development and interest in gender mainstreaming both at the world level and, more parochially, at the European Union level. This chapter addresses...

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