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Gender inequality by design: does successful implementation of childcare policy deliver gender-just outcomes?

Plomien, Ania ORCID: 0000-0001-5883-2297 (2019) Gender inequality by design: does successful implementation of childcare policy deliver gender-just outcomes? Policy and Society, 38 (4). 643 - 662. ISSN 1449-4035

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14494035.2019.1617513


The intractability of complex forms of gender inequality and the normalisation of gender equality policies on public policy agendas continue to challenge feminist research and activism concerned with gender-just outcomes. Through integrative multi-level analysis of policy design-implementation-outcomes building on the feminist policy implementation framework, this article illuminates how dominant discursive framing supports divergent policy approaches by different actors within state-institutional sites. Based on a decade of childcare policy implementation in Poland, the analysis shows that a shared family well-being frame is deployed by political actors to design and implement contrasting models for childcare. These have profound implications for the attainment of gender-just outcomes by sometimes challenging, but more frequently, reconstituting gender hierarchies. The policy design-implementation-outcome lens highlights the centrality of gender throughout the policy process and thus helps account for the persistence of inequalities through their construction and re-construction. It also suggests that, politically, the policy effort can be deployed towards alternative processes and policies, and thus towards the attainment of gender-just outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 21 May 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:39

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