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Gender Inequality and Welfare States in Europe

Mary Daly

Gender equality has been one of the defining projects of European welfarestates. It has proven an elusive goal, not just because of political opposition but also due to a lack of clarity in how to best frame equality and take account of family-related considerations. This wide-ranging book assembles the most pertinent literature and evidence to provide a critical understanding of how contemporary state policies engage with gender inequalities.
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Chapter 4: Access to employment

Mary Daly


This chapter looks at the empirical reality of employment for women vis-à-vis men to identify the patterning of gender and other forms of inequality in relation to labour market engagement and working conditions. Again the key questions are: What is the status quo? What are the signature trends? Is the situation improving in regard to gender equality? The chapter is organized into three main sections. The first considers employment rates. The second section examines a range of sources of labour market-related inequality, especially in regard to structural matters (for example, duration of paid work, sectoral location, pay levels). The third section overviews the factors that have been identified by existing research as explanations for gender inequality in relation to employment rates and pay inequality.

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