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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2003

Female employment and Public Policies


This chapter looks into the details of female employment and public policies. In the first section, we have focused on the participation of women in Europe’s labour market. We have described what are the main trends in each country. To get an idea of women’s participation in the labour market, it is not sufficient to look at female employment rates. It is necessary to also consider actual working time. In some countries, while the activity rate is high, women tend to work essentially part-time. This implies different careers and a weaker investment of women in the labour force. Therefore, we have also described female working time in Europe. In a next stage, we have explored the issue of gender discriminations on the labour market in terms of wages and career development. Finally, we have presented a variety of public policies that affect female employment, specifically focusing on taxation policy. Tax provisions may be such as to discourage the worker with the smallest wage in the couple (unfortunately, often the woman) to take on a paid job or to work more. In the second section, we have analysed the more specific problem of female employment and family life. First, we have described, for Europe, the trend in mothers’ employment according to the number of children. Second, we have studied the gender divide between paid and unpaid work within the household. Finally, we have presented a range of European family policies and their effects on mothers’ employment, while trying to compare those policies from one country to another.
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Dates and versions

hal-03462337 , version 1 (01-12-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03462337 , version 1
  • SCIENCESPO : 2441/3846


Sile O’dorchai, Hélène Périvier. Female employment and Public Policies. [Research Report] European Commission. 2003, pp.85 - 123. ⟨hal-03462337⟩
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