Chiara Saraceno

Family Policies in Europe: Between Convergence and Diversification

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Family polices have moved from the periphery to the center in most European welfare states, stimulated by the concern with women's increasing labor market participation, low fertility and population ageing. At the center of this concern is how to answer to the care needs of those who cannot care for themselves: the very young and the frail elderly. All European countries adopt various combinations of de-familization (through the provision of services) and supported familization (through the granting of paid leaves and various forms of payments-for-care). But the combination between these two approaches, as well as the space left uncovered by public support, varies greatly across countries, as well as between childcare needs and frail elderly care needs. This has in turn consequences for the gender division of labor and gender inequalities as well as for social class inequalities.


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