Gender inequality in the labour market has in Italy a structural character. Women's employment never reached the 50% target and in some subareas of the country female activity rate is dramatically low. In this context, the crisis produced not so much a massive outflow of women from the labour market as rather the overcoming of debate focused on female employment and growth, that started in ‘90’s, even instrumentally to justify the flexibility. Actually, this centrality concealed a rather conservative gender relations representation, so that the discourse on reconciliation, also promoted by European Union, strengthened inequality, becoming the Italian gender regime more functional to the increase in productivity, particularly for women who first entered production because of the de-standardization contracts. At the same time, the transformation of the welfare regime led to the experience of corporate welfare. The increasing privatization of care and welfare are analysed in this paper in order to show how just the implementation of the corporate welfare opens the way for negotiating the basic needs of workers and even more of the female workers. Deprived of the already weak connectivity of services, women are now facing a paradoxical situation: a production system that wants them as reserve army of work (with all the relative consequences) and a "return" to the labour market with a weak negotiating capability. Starting from the analysis of research data on corporate welfare in Italy and from the policy analysis and legislation, the paper describes the dynamic of a “new welfare”, that can be implemented without taking into account workers, on the base of employer decision. Economic and social conditions are designing a gender regime where old disparities are functional and serve a productive system where equality is more often translated into impediment to profit, to progress and to the labour market itself.

Too gendered to work. How the big crisis is affecting gender equality in Italy

Fatima Farina;Alessandra Vincenti
2018-01-01

Abstract

Gender inequality in the labour market has in Italy a structural character. Women's employment never reached the 50% target and in some subareas of the country female activity rate is dramatically low. In this context, the crisis produced not so much a massive outflow of women from the labour market as rather the overcoming of debate focused on female employment and growth, that started in ‘90’s, even instrumentally to justify the flexibility. Actually, this centrality concealed a rather conservative gender relations representation, so that the discourse on reconciliation, also promoted by European Union, strengthened inequality, becoming the Italian gender regime more functional to the increase in productivity, particularly for women who first entered production because of the de-standardization contracts. At the same time, the transformation of the welfare regime led to the experience of corporate welfare. The increasing privatization of care and welfare are analysed in this paper in order to show how just the implementation of the corporate welfare opens the way for negotiating the basic needs of workers and even more of the female workers. Deprived of the already weak connectivity of services, women are now facing a paradoxical situation: a production system that wants them as reserve army of work (with all the relative consequences) and a "return" to the labour market with a weak negotiating capability. Starting from the analysis of research data on corporate welfare in Italy and from the policy analysis and legislation, the paper describes the dynamic of a “new welfare”, that can be implemented without taking into account workers, on the base of employer decision. Economic and social conditions are designing a gender regime where old disparities are functional and serve a productive system where equality is more often translated into impediment to profit, to progress and to the labour market itself.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2656979
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