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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 7: Gender and social policy more broadly

Mary Daly


This chapter shifts the discussion, not just by moving from the EU level to that of the member states but also by considering gender and social policy in a more broad-ranging way. The first part of the chapter devotes attention to two important policy frames or rubrics: work–life balance and social investment. Subsequent sections of the chapter analyse the policy reforms that have sprung from these and other dominant considerations, examining in turn measures investing in parenting, in childcare and in care for older people. As with the other chapters, a short summary/overview draws the chapter to a close.

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