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Flexicurity as a policy strategy: the implications for gender equality

Lewis, Jane and Plomien, Ania ORCID: 0000-0001-5883-2297 (2009) Flexicurity as a policy strategy: the implications for gender equality. Economy and Society, 38 (3). pp. 433-459. ISSN 0308-5147

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Identification Number: 10.1080/03085140903020622


The 'flexicurity' strategy reached the top of the European Union's policy agenda in the mid-2000s. The strategy assumes an adult worker model family and aims to promote better, as well as more, jobs and to ensure that policies should further both flexibility in the labour market and security for workers. The article explores, first, the meaning of internal and external flexibility, and of employment-based security and the different implications for men and women. While the policy documents assume that flexicurity will increase gender equality, the mechanisms have not been specified. In fact, as the article shows, women are often more 'flexible' workers than men, particularly regarding their contractual arrangements and hours of employment. However, they tend not to be economically autonomous and, we argue, the supply-side policies advocated on the security side of the flexicurity matrix are insufficient to improve their position, which is strongly related to the gendered divisions of paid and unpaid work.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009 17:54
Last Modified: 27 May 2024 16:27

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