If Not Work, Does It Mean Care?- Work and Family (im)Balance Women Aged 45+ in Poland

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Monika WILINSKA, University of Jonkoping, Sweden
Jolanta PEREK-BIALAS, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Wioletta GRZENDA, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
In this paper, we explore the work-family life balance among women aged 45+ in Poland. Poland is known to be a familialistic country in which family plays an important role in providing care for children, people with disabilities and older people. Women are consistently defined by their family roles, and the social system offers little if any support for combining work and family duties. Yet, studies examining work-family life balance often focus on women in the prime age. This paper however emphasizes the need to explore work-family life balance in later life. To that end, we examine the labour market position of women aged 45+ and their various intergenerational care duties, including care of older parents, disabled family members and grandchildren. The data set for this study comes from the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) for Poland and includes 7042 women 45+. We use multinominal logistic regression models to explore the potential link between care situations and the probability of being unemployed, dealing with home/care duties and being retired among women aged 45+ in Poland. Our results indicate that the informal care work affects the labour position and quality of life of women aged 45+, but it does so in different ways. While caring for older parents and living with adult children barely affects women aged 45+, living with a disabled person and having grandchildren reduces the chances for women’s employment significantly and negatively impacts their quality of life. In discussing these findings, we propose that the recognition of structures of gender and age is essential to meet goals of inclusive work-family reconciliation policies.