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Work Changes Gender - Towards a new organisation of men's lives - emerging forms of work and opportunities for gender equality, Final Report

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2001-00085


This interdisciplinary project researched the implications of changing working conditions on male employees in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Norway and Spain. Standard work in the sense of full-time and non-temporary employment with social insurance is decreasing, and is possibly in a long-term process of erosion. Eurostat and other statistics prove that the unemployment rates of men and women have converged in the last decades, and the number of men in temporary positions is nearing that of women. The number of men working part-time in the EU has doubled since 1988, climbing from 3.1 to 6.1 million. At the same time, men and women�s time use and household share is becoming more similar. Thus, the traditional breadwinner model is on the way to being dismantled, which has deep-rooted consequences for gender relations and the self-image of men. The purpose of this investigation was to identify men's strategies that both aimed at dealing with these changes and were oriented toward quality of life and equality.
In working life, it is not only women but also men not working a standard full-time schedule who are confronted with obstacles when seeking higher positions and careers.
Men who voluntarily deviate from the full-time norm are frequently exposed to social sanctions and devaluation, although differences across organisations and countries are also visible. A German employee who chose part-time work explained it this way: "The moment you decide to go part-time, you're dead career-wise. It would be naive to think or believe otherwise, to think that you still had a chance." These losses in potential standing, power and income are most often consciously accepted. The situation is different in some advanced organisations and countries and can be supported by a political framework. In Norway, for instance, one month of parental leave is legally "reserved" for men and is taken advantage of which is used 90% of the time.

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