Sweden is very often taken as a model when a conversation comes to any gender or equity related question. It is said to be, not without any reason, one of the most if not the most advanced country in the world as far as equality of chances or the cause of women are concerned. Tough, it had long been, as had been the same way all the countries of the world, submitted to a clear segregation concerning the sexual division of labour (except maybe in the very agricultural areas where the situation can be a little bit different). Men were supposed to work in order to bring money to the household whereas the woman's main occupation was to make and to raise kids. The Swedish government has had, since approximately the times of the Second World War of active struggle against that situation and instead been promoting a way more gender balanced model, where both sexes should in the end be seen as equal.
Employment is in this respect a crucial matter. Indeed, it is only by (sometimes self) employment that one can earn the money necessary to have a livable life. As Sweden claims and is said to be a pioneer countries as regards to welfare, it should in consequence have some particularities it could be interesting to study. What are the strategies of the Swedish welfare state that aim particularly to reduce the differences between men and women?
[...] What we could call the first gender gap in Sweden appears when we have a closer look on the allocation of male and female work force concerning part-time and full- time employment. It is then very clear that women are in a very more precarious situation than their male counterparts. Indeed 40% of the employed women are only employed part-time compared to of the men (Gornick p220). Women are 8 times more likely than men to be employed only part-time, if we consider than the employment population are similar. [...]
[...] parts study the patterns of women's employment and answer the question of why and how they do doffer from men's one before taking a practical example in my third part and study the effects of the parental leave on the characteristics of women's employment. Motivations Spending one year in a foreign country is an impossible to miss occasion to study the particularities of this country, in order to be able to draw at solid comparison with what can happen back at home. [...]
[...] Still, we could wonder if the parental leave and the spread of its use by the father have succeeded in reducing, or even more eliminating the gender differences in employment patterns. The answer to such a question would be to a great extent negative. The mothers' still preferred part-time work and some significant gaps in earnings were still noticeable. But the responsibility of these findings should not be lying the hypothesis of a failure of the parental leave system. First we have to argue that some differences in the perception of the roles of the mother and the father are not the same for everybody. [...]
[...] Now we've seen broadly of what really concerns the parental leave in Sweden, we can try to study its effects on the labour market and on the household behaviours. Influences on women's employment According to Ronsen and Sundström (Ronsen and Sundström p131), the availability of a paid maternity leave will influence women's labour market behaviour in several ways. First, the possibility of a paid parental leave will give mothers-to-be strong incentives to be employed before the birth in order to make sure that they will be entitled for benefits, and prolonged leave periods will strengthen this incentive. [...]
[...] The indicators that I've chosen are the ones that are traditionally used in a study of the characteristics of employment of a certain social group : the involvement in the labour force (that can be measured by the amount of effectively working people out of the total population of the group), the unemployment rate (measured out of the amount of people who would like to work but don't find employment; those who are voluntarily out of the labour force are not counted in this statistic), the percentage of part-time ad full-time work, career mobility and finally the earnings. [...]
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