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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Michael Nollert and Martin Gasser

The purpose of this paper is to focus first on the development of the segregation of tasks in family and housework in Switzerland and its linkage to the gender time-use gap in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus first on the development of the segregation of tasks in family and housework in Switzerland and its linkage to the gender time-use gap in unpaid work. In addition, the impact of dual-breadwinner support in policies and culture is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical test refers to a comparison of Swiss cantons, and is based on data from the Swiss Labour Force Survey. The analysis traces both the gender gap and segregation from 2000 to 2013, compares them between 25 Swiss cantons, and links them to political and cultural dual-breadwinner support.

Findings

First, the results suggest that both the gender time-use gap and task segregation in unpaid work decrease in Switzerland. Moreover, the gender gap and segregation do not correlate in the sample of Swiss cantons. Second, both the gender gap and segregation correlate with dual-breadwinner support. However, the political dual-breadwinner support is linked to lower segregation, a smaller gender gap, more male and less female housework, the dual-breadwinner culture promotes female housework and both men’s and women’s family time spent on childcare, without affecting the gender gap and segregation.

Research limitations/implications

The results, on the one hand, suggest that both the gender time-use gap and the segregation are important but analytically different dimensions of gender equity. On the other hand, the cross-cantonal analysis highlights the socio-political structuration of gender inequality.

Originality/value

The paper contains the first comparative analysis of the gender time-use gap and task segregation in Switzerland. The results underline the analytical distinction between the gender time-use gap and the task segregation in family and housework. Moreover, the cross-cantonal analysis suggests that the political dual-breadwinner support is an important determinant of the gender divide in unpaid work.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Ruedi Epple, Martin Gasser, Sarah Kersten, Michael Nollert and Sebastian Schief

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effect of cantonal social policies and cultural settings (in Switzerland) on women’s and men’s employment behaviour. Special…

1538

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effect of cantonal social policies and cultural settings (in Switzerland) on women’s and men’s employment behaviour. Special consideration is given to the transition to parenthood.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on data from the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) this paper conducts multilevel analyses to test individual and cantonal effects on the probability of employment and on working hours. To analyse the effect of parenthood, models for women and men with children under three are contrasted with models for women and men without children or with older children.

Findings

The paper documents the persistence of gender inequality in employment linked to parenthood. How the reconciliation of work and family life can be realised for women and men strongly depends on a set of policies and cultural conditions. Moreover, individual characteristics such as education or marriage are important predictors.

Research limitations/implications

A shortcoming of this study is the focus on the individual employment use and not on household-level division of labour. This disadvantage is due to the design of the SLFS, which is (at present) the only available survey to allow regionalisation at the cantonal level. However, the paper adds important results to the debate about gender inequality and parenthood in Switzerland as previous research has focused only little on cantonal diversity.

Originality/value

The paper connects to previous cantonal comparative studies of female employment but extends their analyses in three important ways. By analysing cantonal differences in policies and culture this paper takes the diversity of framework conditions in Switzerland into account. Furthermore it simultaneously analyses male and female employment behaviour to get a better understanding of gender inequality and parenthood.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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