Gender Division of Housework Among Couples with Preschool Children in Welfare States: The Good and the Bad in Social Investment Approach

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Mi Young AN, School of Public Administration and Public Policy, Kookmin University, Republic of Korea
Social investment approach to social policy has increased redesigning gender and family in relation to welfare states. This article examines how the approach is related to gender division of housework. It first discusses how the institutional arrangements may be pertinent to the micro level of gender stratification. It discusses differences in social investment approach to family policy across welfare regime which are importantly related to relative resources for bargaining power and attitudes on gender roles. Second, it analyses International Social Security Programme Survey on Changing Families and Gender Roles 2012 for fifteen welfare states. Preliminary results show that mothers’ relative earning power is found to be positive for equal division of housework in social democratic, conservative and liberal regime. By contrast, attitudes on how mothers (women’s) employment affects child’s development and family life as a whole found to be important for the familialistic productive regime in East Asia. Based on findings, this article contributes to the (ongoing) debate on social investment, with empirical evidences on gender division of housework in comparative perspective. The good in the social investment addresses familial tension between husbands and wives about who should be breadwinning. The bad is that tensions with regard to women’s choice (perhaps preference) for (continuous) employment and children’ development, and family life as a whole are sidelined although if not took for granted.