Work and care opportunities under different parental leave systems: gender and class inequalities in northern Europe

Article


Javornik, J. and Kurowska, Anna 2017. Work and care opportunities under different parental leave systems: gender and class inequalities in northern Europe. Social Policy and Administration. 51 (4), pp. 617-637.
AuthorsJavornik, J. and Kurowska, Anna
Abstract

This article analyses public parental leave in eight northern European countries, and assesses its opportunity potential to facilitate equal parental involvement and employment, focusing on gender and income opportunity gaps. It draws on Sen’s capability approach and Weber’s ideal-types to comparative policy analysis. It offers the ideal parental leave architecture, one which minimizes the policy-generated gender and class inequality in parents’ opportunities to share parenting and keep their jobs, thus providing real opportunities for different groups of individuals to achieve valued functionings as parents. Five policy indicators are created using benchmarking and graphical analysis. Two sources of opportunity inequality are considered: the leave system as the opportunity and constraint structure and the socio-economic contexts as the conversion factors. The article produces a comprehensive overview of national leave policies, visually presenting leave policy across countries. Considering policy capability ramifications beyond gender challenges a family policy-cluster idea and the Nordic-Baltic divide. It demonstrates that leave systems in northern Europe are far from homogenous; they diverge in the degree to which they create real opportunities for parents and children as well as in key policy dimensions through which these opportunities are created.

Keywordsfamily policy; gender and class; capability; comparative analysis; policy indicators; Nordic and Baltic
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Journal citation51 (4), pp. 617-637
ISSN0144-5596
1467-9515
Year2017
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
License
Supplemental file
Supplemental file
Supplemental file
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/spol.12316
Publication dates
Print04 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Feb 2017
Accepted06 Feb 2017
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Javornik, Jana (2017) ‘Work and care opportunities under different parental leave systems: gender and class inequalities in northern Europe’, Social Policy and Administration, 51(4), pp. 617-637, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12316. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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