Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 8: Gender, employment and social policy

Jill Rubery and Hugo Figueiredo

Abstract

This chapter explores the state of research on women’s employment and social policy in relation to three related topics. The first is women’s integration into employment. We consider the extent to which women have moved from providing a contingent or intermittent labour supply to becoming a permanently attached labour supply. We then link this to the wider social policy debates on the importance of the social support system in shaping women’s integration patterns. The second topic is the extent to which women occupy distinctive positions on the labour market, even if becoming more permanently attached. Here we consider the embedding of gender divisions in the form of segregation, pay gaps, working-time arrangements and contracts. The third topic addresses these trends towards women’s integration together with continuing gender differences from an intersectional perspective that explicitly recognizes the potential for varying impacts by social class from policies and institutions expected to promote gender equality. This intersectional perspective provides insights into how general trends in inequality impact on progress towards gender equality and on how changes in gender relations may also interact with social class to shape inequality across social classes.

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