Women's increasing demands for protection and benefits in the workplace, especially with regard to maternity leave, have sparked more than a century of controversy among feminists on how best to serve the needs of working women. This debate continues to divide the feminist community. One side believes women are better served by emphasizing equality with men--pregnancy should be treated like any other "disability." The other side wants to recognize difference--special provisions should apply only to pregnant women. Lise Vogel examines the evolution of this debate on pregnant women in the workplace, looking at theoretical as well as practical implications. Vogel begins by assessing the history of the contemporary debate on pregnancy policy in the U.S. Since the middle of the nineteenth-century, American women have been torn by the contradictory demands of motherhood and the workplace. Pregnancy was grounds for dismissal from work and few employers took action to protect pregnant workers. To counter this, early twentieth-century feminists and reformers emphasized female specificity and women's special role. In the 1960s activists adopted a strategy framed on equality, which moved away from the earlier emphasis on differences. The use of equality strategies to cover the female-specific phenomenon of pregnancy turned out to have problems. Now women's special needs were denied and ignored. These difficulties and a series of court cases in the 1980s triggered debates in the feminist legal community. Vogel looks at the litigation and debates, which pitted advocates of gender-neutral strategies against critics who called for female-specific policies. Vogel argues that, in terms of practical benefits, women will be served best by a gender-neutral approach to pregnancy policy. She encourages equality advocates to recognize the inherent diversity of individuals, and points out the need to be sensitive to individual factors of race and class, as well as sex.
Women and the Rise of the European Welfare States, 18802-1950s
Author: Gisela Bock
This collection sets out to analyze the influence of women's movements on the emergence of Europe's welfare state from the 1880s to the 1950s, and the limits of that influence. It compares the women's movements - and social policies concerning women - in the dictatorships of Italy, Germany and Spain with the democracies in Britain, France and Scandinavia. It throws new lights on feminism, especially in the inter-war period.
In the late twelfth century, Japanese people called the transitional period in which they were living the "age of warriors." Feudal clans fought civil wars, and warriors from the Kanto Plain rose up to restore the military regime of their shogun, Yoritomo. The whole of this intermediary period came to represent a gap between two stable societies: the ancient period, dominated by the imperial court in Heian (today's Kyoto), and the modern period, dominated by the Tokugawa bakufu based in Edo (today's Tokyo). In this remarkable portrait of a complex period in the evolution of Japan, Pierre F. Souyri uses a wide variety of sources -- ranging from legal and historical texts to artistic and literary examples -- to form a magisterial overview of medieval Japanese society. As much at home discussing the implications of the morality and mentality of The Tale of the Heike as he is describing local disputes among minor vassals or the economic implications of the pirate trade, Souyri brilliantly illustrates the interconnected nature of medieval Japanese culture. The Middle Ages was a decisive time in Japan's history because it confirmed the country's national identity. New forms of cultural expression, such as poetry, theater, garden design, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and illustrated scrolls, conveyed a unique sensibility -- sometimes in opposition to the earlier Chinese models followed by the old nobility. The World Turned Upside Down provides an animated account of the religious, intellectual, and literary practices of medieval Japan in order to reveal the era's own notable cultural creativity and enormous economic potential.
Today, as married women commonly pursue careers outside the home, concerns about their ability to achieve equal footing with men without sacrificing the needs of their families trouble policymakers and economists alike. In 1993 federal legislation was passed that required most firms to provide unpaid maternity leave for up to twelve weeks. Yet, as Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace reveals, motherhood remains a primary obstacle to women's economic success. This volume offers fascinating and provocative new analyses of women's status in the labor market, as it explores the debate surrounding parental leave: Do policies that mandate extended leave protect jobs and promote child welfare, or do they sidetrack women's careers and make them less desirable employees? An examination of the disadvantages that women—particularly young mothers—face in today's workplace sets the stage for the debate. Claudia Goldin presents evidence that female college graduates are rarely able to balance motherhood with career track employment, and Jane Waldfogel demonstrates that having children results in substantially lower wages for women. The long hours demanded by managerial and other high powered professions further penalize women who in many cases still bear primary responsibility for their homes and children. Do parental leave policies improve the situation for women? Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace offers a variety of perspectives on this important question. Some propose that mandated leave improves women's wages by allowing them to preserve their job tenure. Other economists express concern that federal leave policies prevent firms and their workers from acting on their own particular needs and constraints, while others argue that because such policies improve the well-being of children they are necessary to society as a whole. Olivia Mitchell finds that although the availability of unpaid parental leave has sharply increased, only a tiny percentage of workers have access to paid leave or child care assistance. Others caution that the current design of family-friendly policies may promote gender inequality by reinforcing the traditional division of labor within families. Parental leave policy is a complex issue embedded in a tangle of economic and social institutions. Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace offers an innovative and up-to-date investigation into women's chances for success and equality in the modern economy.
Looks at the three main components of work-family policy packages - childcare services, flexible working patterns and entitlements to leave from work in order to care - across EU15 Member States, with comparative reference to the US. This work also provides an examination of developments in the UK.
What does it mean to be a successful working parent? And how do working parents cope in the United States, the only developed nation with no paid parental leave requirement? Despite some positive advancement in the voluntary adoption of paid parental leave, many organizations over the past 25 years have instead decreased paid leave benefits offered to employees in the United States, choosing instead to let unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) serve in its place. This regression in practice is perhaps the greatest unintended consequence of FMLA and surely was not the intent of Congress. Maternity Leave: Policy and Practice, Second Edition approaches parental leave from a variety of perspectives: legal, political, social, institutional, organizational, and, most importantly, from the personal perspectives of the women and men interviewed expressly for the book. This second edition offers two new chapters: the first puts the issue of maternity leave within the context of work–life balance issues, and the second explores case studies from states, cities, and private organizations. Incorporating new census data, related reports, and academic studies, authors Victoria Gordon and Beth M. Rauhaus utilize relevant and cutting-edge research in their exploration of parental leave, and they enrich this research with the individual stories of ordinary working parents as well as those who choose not to have children. Assuming no prior specialized knowledge, this book can be assigned on a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in politics, public policy, public administration, gender studies, and human resource management, and will equally be of interest to parents, policy makers, and C-suite managers.
This book traces women’s influence on maternity policy in Norway from 1880-1940. Maternity policies, including maternity leave, midwifery services and public assistance for mothers, were some of the first welfare policies enacted in Norway. Feminists, midwives, and working women participated in their creation and helped transform maternity policies from a restriction to a benefit. Situating Norway within the larger European context, the book contributes to discussions of Scandinavian welfare state development and further untangles the relationship between social policy and gender equality. The study of poor, rural women alongside urban middle-class feminists is rooted in an inclusive archival source base that speaks to the interplay between local and national welfare officials and recipients, the development and implementation of laws in diverse settings, the divergent effects maternity policies had on women, and women’s varied response.
Feminists, Midwives, Working Women and the Fight for Norwegian Maternity Leave, 1880-1940
Author: Anna M. Peterson
During the early twentieth century feminists and midwives, in particular, used the political focus on infant mortality rates and public health to push for compensatory maternity benefits for women. This led to more comprehensive maternity policies for working-class women. In 1913 Norwegian women won the right to vote, and during the interwar period feminists used women's new status as full citizens to frame maternity as an issue of women's rights. These efforts led to the passage of comprehensive and generous policies in the 1930s. The rhetorical framework that women constructed in order to achieve these results had a lasting impact on the development of maternity policy in Norway long into the postwar period.Less
Research Paper from the year 2013 in the subject Sociology - Work, Profession, Education, Organisation, National Institute of Development Administration (Graduate School of Public Administration), course: PhD, language: English, abstract: The effects of globalisation on gendered division of labour, global market strategies, structural adjustment programmes, use of information technology and changing work organisation, working conditions are changed in different formats and there has been an increase of female participation in employment This change becomes more significant especially for the involvement of female workers at the workplace with a great responsibility at home for family activities. Like their male counterparts women are also earners for their families. However, they have to maintain their family activities such as caring young children, looking after ageing and disabled people that seems women have to do more than their men peers. Having realized this fact, family-friendly policies have been enacted and practised in the organization on the basis of recommendations of policy makers, researchers with an intention to utilize the women capital and play an important role in uplifting living conditions of women. These FFPs serve as the balancing between work and family live. These issues are considered as the benefit for working women with or without children who enjoy the advantage to utilise their time for family responsibilities As these are the concerns, the issue of quality of life has become a new aspect for the increase of female participation in labour force . Bangladesh is waved by the globalisation, internationalisation, pressure of donor agencies and recent change in the growth of female employment. This research has been framed to examine the causal relations between the family friendly policies and working life of women in the public sector training organizations.The population size comprises of all working women of these organizations. The study population (502) is the aggregation of elements from which the sample is selected. The Sample size selected from two strata i.e. managerial level and non-managerial (support staff) level employees are 156 and 249 respectively that calculated using the formula. This is a quantitative research where Family-friendly policies are the independent variables and working life of working women is the dependent variable. Hypotheses taken relating to the independent and dependent variables will be tested using the various statistical methods. The unit of analysis of this study is working women employed in the public sector training organizations. After getting data from the respondents, data will be analyzed using SPSS.
This book assesses the comparability between policies promoting women's equality and the reversal of fertility decline. Based on comparative data from Canada, Australia, Britain, and to a more limited extent the USA, Alena Heitlinger examines the impact of major international instruments promoting women's equality, and national similarities and differences in women's policy machinery, provision for maternity and childcare, fiscal assistance for families with children, and the costs and benefits of fertility-related measures vis - vis immigration related measures.