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Gender related differences in patterns of employment in Sweden, and the effects of the parental leave in a woman's employment

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Motivations.
  3. Theoretical overview and the importance of gender (equality) in Sweden.
    1. The mainstream theories of welfare and of the welfare state.
    2. The characteristics of the countries belonging to the social-democratic group.
    3. Criticism from feminists.
    4. Women's contribution to household income and to employment.
  4. Gender and labour market.
    1. Brief historical overview.
    2. Persisting discrepancies between genders and patterns of female employment.
  5. The various effects of the parental leave.
    1. Short history of the parental leave in Sweden and and its description.
    2. Influences on women's employment.
    3. The effects of leave sharing in mothers' employment.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

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. [...]


[...] The effects of leave sharing in mothers' employment Before we can go further in this part, it seems essential to me that we have a look to the identikit of the kind of fathers who chose to share the leave and how they take it. Even though most of the users of the leave are women, men's share has been growing really fast with the time. Sundström and Duvander (2000, p437) show that the percentage of fathers in the total leave users has been multiplied by 10 between 1974 and 1994, climbing from to In 1999 it amounted to Additionally, fathers who used more than one month of leave were found to be considerably more educated than those who were not taking any leave. [...]

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