Who Pays for the Kids?: Gender and the Structures of Constraint
Who bears the cost of social reproduction? The development of capitalism has brought many opportunities for women, but despite growing economic independence, they continue to bear a disproportionate amount of the costs of caring for children. Indeed whilst new freedoms and economic opportunities for women have been conceded they have not been matched by new responsibilities and obligations for men. Changes in family law, as well as increased economic mobility, have made it easy for men to default on family committments. Whilst public programmes have emerged to offset the costs of social reproduction for women, these are inadequate and regressive, encouraging women to reduce their participation in the labour market and reinforcing occupational segregation. The incidence of poverty amongst women maintaining families alone has increased over time, even in the wealthiest countries. The Logic of Patriarchal Capitalism argues that even where women derive important gains as individual wage earners from the processes of capitalist development, they remain disadvantaged by their family responsibilities.
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