The purpose of this article is to assess the likely effects of the Single European Market on women′s positions in the labour market. It is expected that for employment in the Community as a whole there will be a “j‐curve” evolution and a redistribution across sectors, industries, geographical regions and groups of people with different socio‐economic characteristics. Because of their lower levels of educational and skill attainment and their unequal opportunities for mobility, women are not expected to get an equitable share of the benefits, while they are most likely to bear a disproportionate part of the costs. Only if women are offered opportunities to improve substantially their educational and skill levels and if the necessary institutional changes are implemented, can they take advantage of the challenges of the new era that is coming.
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