Precarity and Gender Equality – Experiences of Women and Men in Poland
The research on social and economic effects of transformation and crisis in Poland indicates that women face more challenges: receive lower salaries, struggle to be promoted or to improve their competences (Desperak 2009, Czerwińska, Łapniewska, Piotrowska 2010). However, the results of the project “Gender equality and quality of life”, indicate that the precarious situation at the labour market to some extent is experienced by both women and men. Lack of social security, lack of work stability, overburden, and constant availability demanded by employers are only a few factors illustrating workers’ situation and its potential impact on other spheres of life (e.g. family life, civic engagement, retirement).
Through the usage of the qualitative (focus group interviews) and quantitative data (representative survey of Polish citizens) we will try to analyse impact of precarious work conditions on quality of life of women and men. How precarity is conceptualized by the study respondents? Is precarity differently experienced by both women and men? Should we search for the new indicators of gender equality, linked to work conditions, rather than using previous indicators (e.g. salary level, position in hierarchy) created in the different structural conditions of the labour market? What strategies have been used to cope with precarious condition?
The research has been conducted within the project “Gender equality and quality of life – how gender equality can contribute to development in Europe. A study of Poland and Norway” (GEQ), funded by the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme.