Recession and Austerity: Gender Equality Jeopardized

By Anne Eydoux,[1] Antoine Math,[2] and Hélène Périvier[3]

The crisis that began in 2008 has hit European countries diversely, causing economic and labour market disequilibria of more or less magnitude. As with past global crises, the current one has gendered implications. While women’s employment is said to have been preserved relative to men’s in the early stage of a recession, austerity plans implemented in several countries to limit public deficits and debts are deemed to affect female workers more deeply. How gendered are labour market changes in recession and austerity and how should cross-country differences be analysed? This special issue of the Revue de l’OFCE notably points out the protective role of the gendered segregation of labour markets (i.e. the fact that women and men do not work in the same sectors or occupations): male-dominated sectors (construction, industry, etc.) are generally first hit in recession, while female-dominated sectors (services and the public sector) remain quite sheltered from a quick drop in the demand for labour – but are exposed to job losses at a later stage. Continue reading “Recession and Austerity: Gender Equality Jeopardized”

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