Chapter

Woman-friendly policy paradoxes? Childcare policies and gender equality visions in Scandinavia

Anette Borchorst

in Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424655
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302407 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424655.003.0002
Woman-friendly policy paradoxes? Childcare policies and gender equality visions in Scandinavia

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This chapter discusses the different policy logics of childcare policies in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and the visions of gender equality underpinning them. It also reports whether the notion of one coherent Scandinavian welfare model should be challenged, and critically addresses the term ‘woman friendliness’. The underlying visions of gender equality of day-care policies, parental leave, and home-care cash benefits are explored. Moreover, the chapter provides some perspectives on the political construction of the equality–difference dilemma in the Scandinavian countries, and how woman-friendly policies are presented in a European context. It is stated that the political construction of the gendered division of care and breadwinning is the salient character of the problem. The three countries have adopted at least three types of care policies: maternity and parental-leave schemes, day-care services, and homecarer allowances. The Scandinavian welfare states have weakened Wollstonecraft's dilemma.

Keywords: woman friendliness; Sweden; Norway; Denmark; gender equality; childcare policies; maternity leave; parental leave; day-care services; homecarer allowances

Chapter.  7067 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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