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Changing gender roles and changes in family formation in Finland, India and east Asia Stuart Basten 1,2 Yu-Hua Chen 3 1 KONE Postdoctoral Researcher, Väestöliitto.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing gender roles and changes in family formation in Finland, India and east Asia Stuart Basten 1,2 Yu-Hua Chen 3 1 KONE Postdoctoral Researcher, Väestöliitto."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing gender roles and changes in family formation in Finland, India and east Asia Stuart Basten 1,2 Yu-Hua Chen 3 1 KONE Postdoctoral Researcher, Väestöliitto 2 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford 3 Associate Professor, Population and Gender Studies Center, National Taiwan University

2 Gender roles in history Throughout history, women have combined predominant responsibility for the household with other important economic contributions

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5 The ‘gender revolutions’ Contraceptive revolution Educational revolution Work revolution

6 Contraceptive revolution Improvements in safety of contraception Introduction of hormonal contraception and far more efficient IUDs Changes in acceptance*

7 Educational revolution General improvements in education for all Women’s increased access to better, longer education Now, in many parts of the world (e.g. Korea) women are better educated than men Feeds into gender empowerment

8 Work revolution Questioning the sole breadwinner household model and the gender division of labour that accompanied it. Increasing, and improving female labour force participation

9 Education  Female empowerment  Access to extra- household economic opportunities  Role in household decision making  Likelihood of contracepting  Knowledge of contraception  Opportunity cost of children  Desired number of children  Fertility rates 

10 Negative relationships Education and fertility Income and fertility HDI and fertility

11 But an ‘incomplete’ revolution?

12 1. Incomplete ‘public’ revolutions In many settings: –Female education poorer –Discrimination at home and at work –Social and cultural barriers to empowerment –Underinvestment in female opportunities –Women’s value lower Often in negative feedback with poor economic growth and other development issues

13 Consequences High fertility and stalled fertility decline in many settings Incursions of women’s (reproductive) rights and opportunities Violence against women Sex selection bias –Abortions, infanticide –Squeeze on marriage

14 India

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16 Source: Baochang Gu & Yong Cai. (2011). Fertility prospects in China. Expert Paper. No. 2011/14. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. United Nations.

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18 2. Incomplete ‘private’ revolutions Even in the most developed countries, changes in women’s domestic roles have not caught up with changes in their public roles Opportunity costs of childbearing

19 Education revolution –Korea: female tertiary enrolment rose from 20% in 1975 to 81% in 2005 (Tsuya et al. 2009) Taiwan, 2009 Source: Manpower Survey Statistics, DGBAS, Executive Yuan.

20 Participation in labour force New and growing opportunities –‘The life options of young women have widened’ (Rindfuss et al. 2004) Income inequality decreasing Highly competitive economies and governments – high productivity and low wages –‘Relatively unforgiving of the divided loyalties inherent in the effort to combine child-raising with working’ (Jones et al. 2009)

21 The ‘package’ of marital roles Childbearing and rearing Care for the elderly The watchful gaze of the ‘in-laws’ Responsibility for educational success of children –Including extra-curricular activities and ‘cram’ schools Heavy household task load Possible co-residence with parents-in-law

22 Reflected in trends

23 Japan - context Source: Japan Time Use Survey 2005

24 2006 Taiwan Data 資料來源:內政部、行政院主計處。

25 A perfect storm? Patriarchal, patrilineal tradition Women expected to have very different gendered roles in public and in private History of age gap between husband and wife Highly educated women: opportunity costs at breaking point Context for cross-border marriages? –MEN want to get married – but just not to Taiwanese women (and vice versa)

26 Men – crucial to the future Do we ‘downgrade’ women, or ‘update’ men? No question! The role of men in shaping the future of gender roles and relations in Taiwan is tremendous An under-researched topic world wide

27 Population policy, fertility and gender equity Question the fundamental link between population policy and fertility Rather familiar assumptions on spending on family policy and child benefit and link to increased fertility (many studies) But is that the only answer?

28 Source: EUROSTAT Harmonised Time Use surveys, EUROSTAT fertility database, Asia time use surveys, UN World Population Prospects 2010, Taiwan DGBAS Italy and Spain Developed East Asia CEE Scandinavia (Germany) NW Europe France (Latvia)

29 Micro-level evidence from Finland Desired family size Gender equity index Study of Finnish males at Parity 0 and 1. Desired family size and views on gender equity (Division of household/childcare tasks, women in public sphere etc) Traditional Egalitarian Source: (Rotkirch, Basten and Mietinnen 2010)

30 Micro-level evidence from Finland Desired family size Gender equity index Traditional Egalitarian ‘Male breadwinner’ model ‘Househusband’ model ‘Equal sharing’ model ‘Half-and-half’ model Source: (Rotkirch, Basten and Mietinnen 2010)

31 Extrapolate up to national level? Desired family size Gender equity index Traditional Egalitarian Yemen, Niger, Afghanistan Scandinavia NW Europe East Asia, S and E Europe GENDER EQUITY MISMATCH

32 So what to do? Clearly – women’s work should be made more compatible with childbearing Return to subsidy vs. reform Broader social change required Try to usher in more equal responsibilities between women and men with respect to childcare and housework

33 Finland, India and East Asia? Gender is a thread that runs through partnership- and family formation in each of these regions –Attitudes towards gender equity among men –Women [and men] struggling to reconcile work and family –Fundamental questions concerning gender roles


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