Schnepf, Sylke Viola
Gender inequality in east and west: attitudes to women’s participation in the labour market University of Southampton 52pp.
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The analysis of economic factors usually applied for examining gender inequality in
the labour market suggests that former post communist countries have reached
similarly high standards of gender equality compared to Western European countries.
This paper aims at comparing attitudes to women’s work between transition and
OECD countries highlighting the explanatory power of societal norms. The analysis
of attitudes, their determinants and their change in regions and countries is based on
micro-data of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) from 1994 and 1998
waves. These data reveal that a strikingly higher share of people in the East than in the
West agrees with traditional values on women’s work. The large homogeneity in
patriarchal values of Eastern European people with differing socio-economic
background explains these regional differences. The East-West gap in traditional
value orientations is likely to widen given that liberal values spread faster in OECD
countries than in transition countries.
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