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Session Overview
RN33_07a: Gender Equality, Work and Families
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Lena Margareta Näre, University of Helsinki
Location: BS.3.14
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Between Opportunities And Inequalities : A Qualitative Study Of The Lived Experiences Of Extra-European "Dependent" Women With Study Projects In The Belgian Context

Sarah Smit1,2

1Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain); 2Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS)

Although formally neutral, migration policies remain gender-based and have different effects on mobile women and men, particularly in the context of family reunification schemes. Indeed, while family reunion procedures account for a significant part of migrations to Belgium, the predominance of women is striking. Moreover, women who benefit from this scheme are placed in particularly vulnerable positions : first, because their right to remain in Belgium depends on the maintenance of their relationship with the person they joined and, second, because they are often confined in their role of spouse and denied any professional ambition or activity. Many of these “dependent” women return to higher education as a way to deal with complicated situations in the host country, reflecting a desire to actively engage in their new environment and regain a certain control over their lives. However, these women can face a number of obstacles in higher education too : a limited recognition of their diplomas, a competition with their family responsibilities, a certain reluctance from their partner as well as a number of categorizations and differentiations that – whether experienced as obstacles or opportunities – tend to reduce the singularity and complexity of their situation. Based on preliminary results gathered through an ongoing sociological fieldwork, this contribution aims to give voice to Congolese, Indian and American adult women who arrived in Belgium under the family reunion program and enrolled into higher education. It aims to analyse the multiple system of inequalities affecting these women’s opportunities in the host country by paying special attention to the interplay between structural constraints, lived experiences and everyday strategies.

Gender Equality Perceptions of the Turkish Second Generation in Six European Countries

Willem George Groenewold, Helga de Valk

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), Netherlands,The

Views about gender equality of the Turkish second generation are examined and compared across six European countries using a gender equality perceptions (GEP) scale. Survey data from areas where most of the Turkish community concentrate are used: main cities of Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Multiple Classification Analysis (MCA) is used to estimate differences between people with different person- and context characteristics. In all countries, GEP scales-scores of the Turkish second generation are lower than those of native young adults. Differences are in the range of about 1 and 2 points on the 0 to 10 point GEP-scale. Religious and low educated persons, in particular men, with few natives in the friends-pool, residing in neighborhoods with few natives and where perceived social cohesion and trust is low, maintain very low GEP scale-scores, which differ widely from those of persons with opposite characteristics. Interestingly, results also show that GEP scale-scores of the Turkish second generation with particular background characteristics in one country may be higher than those of native young adults with similar background characteristics in another country. Theory-driven expectations and empirical findings are discussed. MCA-results are easy to interpret and can readily be used for profiling target groups of gender mainstreaming policies and programs.

Mapping Attitudes Towards Gender Equality in Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Ditte Shamshiri-Petersen

Aalborg University, Denmark

Gender equality has been a sort of a trademark establishing the Scandinavian countries as progressive frontrunners. However, on closer inspection, significant differences appear. For instance regarding progress in gender equality policies such as gender quotas and earmarked paternity leave, Denmark unfavorably stands out from both Norway and Sweden, and in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report (e.g. 2015, 2018), Denmark are ranked distinctly lower. But the question is how this reflected in gender equality attitudes among the populations? To our knowledge, a comparative Scandinavian survey on gender equality has not previously been conducted. Thus, this paper explores the attitudes of Scandinavian women and men towards gender equality and the intended contribution are twofold: First, to provide a mapping of gender equality attitudes in Scandinavia. Second, to point out significant differences between the three Scandinavian countries. In order to map attitudes and to identify country differences, we distinguish between four main dimensions of gender equality attitudes: 1) attitudes towards gender roles, 2) attitudes towards gender equality as an ideal, 3) perception of the current state in terms of distance from the ideal, and 4) attitudes towards particular policy instruments to promote gender equality. The study is based on nationally representative surveys conducted in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 2015 (n=4048, 1005 and 1009). Results clearly demonstrate differences between the Scandinavian populations on all four dimensions of gender equality attitudes, Sweden being the frontrunner and Denmark a sort of “laggard”.

Work and Family Reconciliation in Turkey: Women as a Vulnerable Group

Simla Serim

Bogazici University, Social Policy Forum, Turkey

Women’s labour force participation rate in Turkey is one of the lowest among the OECD countries. Turkey has made significant changes pertaining to the labour market regulations and made noteworthy efforts in increasing labour market participation of women. However, vulnerability of women’s position in the labour market is still an unsettling matter as half of the working population is perceived as vulnerable which indicates a gender issue inherent in the society. The difficulties of access and continuity in the labour market could be explained by the difficulties pertaining to reconciliation of work and family life and labour market structure that creates vulnerabilities for women who are engaged in informal and precarious jobs. In order to elaborate on different aspects of women’s vulnerability in the labour market, this study deals with how the work and family reconciliation policies define the vulnerable position of women in Turkey. The main aim is investigating the effects of the newly introduced labour market policies pertaining to flexibility and child care arrangements in the society. Semi-structured interviews conducted with informants who are representatives of trade unions and women groups, social group leaders, state actors and civil society organizations. Findings suggest that although the government prioritizes the practices to raise employment rates among women, they are being considered only in terms of ensuring a quantitative increase, not on the basis of creating decent jobs. Therefore, flexible measures in the labour market will increase the vulnerability of the vulnerable groups like young women engaged in precarious jobs, women from low-socio economic status unless work and family reconciliation policies target gender and class equalities through extensive child care facilities.

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