Gender Inequality in East and West: Attitudes to Women's Participation in the Labour Market

Sylke V. Schnepf, University of Southampton

The analysis of economic factors usually applied for examining gender inequality in the labour market suggests that former post communist countries have reached equally high standards of gender equality compared to Western industrialised countries. This paper aims at comparing attitudes to women's work between transition and OECD countries highlighting the explanatory power of societal norms. The analysis of attitudes, their determinants and their change in regions and countries is based on micro-data of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) from 1994 and 1998 waves. These data reveal that a strikingly higher share of people in the East than in the West agrees with traditional values on women's work. The large homogeneity in patriarchal values of Eastern people with differing socio-economic background explains these regional differences. The East-West gap in traditional value orientations is likely to widen given that liberal values spread faster in OECD countries than transition countries.

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Presented in Session 158: Economic Inequality