About this Research Topic
In 2019, the European Union issued a new Work-life Balance Directive that contributes to and promotes gender equality through the increased participation of women in the labour market and the fair sharing of family care responsibilities between men and women. In the past decades, several factors are challenging the traditional way to combine work and family, which generally builds on gendered division of roles and responsibilities in the household. Among these, globalization, technological advances, changing gender roles, growing diversity of family structures, changing individual and family values, generational turnover, and aging workforce can potentially trigger social change regarding work-life balance. However, the lack of resources for reconciliation policies threatens the implementation of this Directive. In the context of the consequences of the Covid19 pandemic crises, the threats for gender equality appear even more increased.
The social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis risk to challenge gender equality more than the previous crises in Europe did. With the pandemic, European states are experiencing increasing difficulties in protecting from the so-called "old" social risks and providing innovative responses to the "new" social risks and needs emerging from the new situation. This results in cumulative challenges that build on pre-existing inequality conditions. Among the many consequences of the pandemic, we are looking particularly at the increased difficulties in combining family, personal and work life in synergy and the implications for gender equality of the current policies adopted at the national and European levels.
Research contributions, based on qualitative and quantitative methods, adopting comparative, as well as country-specific approaches to explore the following topics, are particularly welcomed:
• the new challenges of the pandemic -at the European, national and local level - to the work-life balance
• the impact assessment of implemented policies concerning the inequalities caused by the pandemic recovery measures and public policy implications for gender equality in the division of paid work and unpaid care work in the household
• increasing of gender inequalities in work and life experiences due to the pandemic
Keywords: gender inequalities, covid 19, work-care balance, work-life balance
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