Understanding the high rates of employment among low-educated women in portugal: A comparatively oriented case study
Tavora, I. (2012) Understanding the high rates of employment among low-educated women in portugal: A comparatively oriented case study. Gender Work and Organisation, 19 (2). pp. 93-118. ISSN 1468-0432
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0432.2010.00489.x
This article addresses the question of why Portugal is an exception among southern European countries in having a high rate of female employment. Cross-national data show an even greater gap between Portugal and its southern European neighbours in the employment rates for low-educated women. This article presents case-based evidence on the work orientations, gender relations and reconciliation strategies of low-educated women working in the clothing industry in Portugal. The analysis reveals that while economic need plays an important role in their attachment to employment, their work decisions are forged by a complex set of attitudes regarding employment and the family. Traditional values regarding the role of women in the family co-exist with more modern values regarding their employment participation. Moreover, the institutional arrangements of childcare and reconciliation also appear to be more supportive than might be expected in a southern Europe welfare state. By focusing on a particular group of low-educated women, the findings suggest that the same welfare policies may have different impacts on the reconciliation strategies of women of different socioeconomic groups.