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Session Overview
RN14_02a_P: Gender and Age
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Fatima Farina, University of Urbino
Location: PF.1.43
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: F, Level: 1.

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Comparing experiences and outcomes for older workers in low-paid precarious employment and well-paid secure employment in Ireland and the United States.

Aine Ni Leime

National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

This paper compares employment and pensions policy in the US and Ireland at a time when governments and employers are being strongly encouraged to extend working life in response to population ageing. The US has a longer history of extended working life policies and has a greater proportion of older workers than does Ireland. It has fewer family friendly policies than Ireland to help reconcile work with caring and has for a long time pursued a neoliberal policy agenda privatising and individualising pensions.

This paper discusses the impact of extended working life policies for home health aides and janitors in the US neoliberal policy context as compared to Irish home health aides and cleaners who are in a more hybrid policy regime with some protective European Union employment measures. It also compares the experiences of teachers – a more sedentary, secure occupation in each country.

The paper uses a gendered political economy of ageing and a lifecourse approach to analyse the differences and similarities between workers in different occupations and subject to different welfare state regimes. It draws upon interviews tracing the work-life trajectories with ten female home health aides in Ireland and ten in the United States; with ten male cleaners in Ireland and ten janitors in the United States and with ten male and ten female teachers in each country.

In both countries men and women in physically demanding low-paid occupations are not in favour of working past traditional state retirement age, while the evidence for teachers is more mixed. Health considerations and gendered caring histories are influential. Policy implications are discussed, as are potential future research directions.

Marketization and Managerialization of services for female school dropouts and young women in Israel

Orly Benjamin

Bar Ilan University, Israel

In contemporary public administrations throughout Europe, Israel included, Principles of marketization and managerialization are held applicable throughout the social services: education, welfare and healthcare. The applications of the marketization and managerialization toolkit was recently compared for its various European formations in Germany, Denmark, Italy and the UK. Based on this comparison Klenk and Pavolini concluded that the applied practices of quasi-marketization reduce levels of professionalization and knowledge preservation across various services. With trends of de-centralization and the increased importance of non-governmental providers of services the comparison indicated also an increased dialogue between public regulators, service users and other citizens. But, have feminist activists and organizations used the increased opportunities for dialogue? Because of the historical interest of the women’s movement in services for female school dropouts and young women, focusing on these services, seem a good focal point for examining feminist involvement in the dialogue over the budgeting and the management of such services. Analyzing texts produced by an Israeli forum of providers of these services, as well as working papers produced by governmental bodies, 20 interviews with those involved in the operation of such services and those in feminist organizations, I set forth to shed light of the following: the ways in which services targeting female school dropouts and young women are budgeted; the employment quality experienced by employees operating the services; and, the level of participation of feminist activists and organizations in reinforcing the voices of services providers in their dialogue with government administrators involved in budgeting decisions.

The role of the state in feminisation and quality of employment: A comparison of teaching profession in the UK and Pakistan

Mahwish Khan

Univeristy of the West of England, United Kingdom

Teaching is considered one of the ‘female’ occupations in most countries around the world (Gaskell & Mullen, 2006). Feminization does pave the way to increase the presence of women in work but it does not imply women’s access to power in the labour market. On the contrary feminisation is often related to the lowering of the status of an occupation and raises issues related to the gender wage gap, occupational segregation, glass ceilings and work life balance (Bruegel, 2000; Wylie, 2000). The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the employment trends of women in the labour market of the UK and Pakistan while giving particular attention to the teaching profession. The paper will analyse differing reasons and processes of feminisation of teaching and evaluates the role of the state during the process in the UK and Pakistan. The paper will also analyse the quality of employment of teaching in terms of knowledge, rewards, and career advancement opportunities in the two countries.

In the UK, there is a vast literature on feminisation of teaching tracing it back to the expansion of the public education in the nineteenth century (Miller, 1992). Whereas, feminisation of education in South Asian countries particularly in Pakistan , initiated in early 2000s in the backdrop of promotion of neo-liberal privatisation policies (Kelleher, 2011). This paper has used interpretivist approach to analyse the employment trends and quality in teaching profession. Both secondary and primary research has been done to analyse the changing labour market trends and quality of teaching employment in the UK and Pakistan.

Precarisation of Work in the Home-Based Elder Care in postsocialist context

Majda Hrženjak

Peace Institute, Slovenia

Based on the policy analysis and 45 individual semi-structured interviews with care workers we analyse working conditions in home-based elder care in Slovenia, a 25 years old post-socialist country with a fast ageing population. Diverse employment positions with different degrees of precarisation co-exist and compete in the home-based care. They can be sorted in two continuum: 1. between public and market service; 2. between formal and informal work. Though in scarce public provision standard working arrangements predominate, care is being economically devaluated making employees working poor despite enormous workload. Because existing policies set market providers working as individualized self-employees as noncompetitive to the subsidized public services, they create only insecure occasional employments and are often pushed into informal economy where they are excluded from social citizenship. Migrants, long term unemployed, poor pensioners and working poor are actors in informal care market. A family assistant appears as a semi-employment status which pays a minimum wage for 24/7 care without being eligible to all rights from work. On the edge of the precarious informal home-based care are situated family carers, who perform care without financial compensation and social rights from work. Based on the analysis we argue that transformation of care from unpaid women’s work in the family to social care is in threat to be unmade in the context of aging population and neoliberal retrenchment of the welfare state, which can have serious consequences for women’s economic (in)equality.

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