Presentation on theme: "Making the “reserve army” visible: Lengthy parental leave and women’s economic marginalization in Hungary Eva Fodor Erika Kispeter (Central European University)"— Presentation transcript:
Making the “reserve army” visible: Lengthy parental leave and women’s economic marginalization in Hungary Eva Fodor Erika Kispeter (Central European University) Workshop on the Impact of Childcare Provisions for Children under 4 in the Visegrad Countries Budapest Institute, Budapest Sept 2011
Erika and I also thank….. The European Commission for funding the project QUALITY of which this is part. … Zsuzsa Blasko, co-conspirator … Eszter Varsa who did some of the interviews
Goal of the project What is the impact of lengthy parental leave policies on women’s work experience in Hungary?
Previous findings Parental leave enables the combination of work/family responsibilities In countries with generous leave more women work (Pettit and Hook 2005, Mandel and Semyonov 2006) In countries with generous leave the gender wage gap is larger, and women’s poverty rate is higher (Misra et al 2007, Hicks and Kenworthy 2008) Women work in stable, decent jobs and trade off high salaries for family friendly hours.
What about Hungary? Hungary has the most generous parental leave in OECD Most moms take leave, average length almost 5 years Regulations regarding paid work during the leave varies Research question: Do women do paid work during the leave and if so, what kind? How does this position them in the labor market?
Our empirical data In-depth interviews with 38 moms on paid parental leave At least 1 child over 2 “not working” Both rural and urban, both educated and not
Our findings: Part 1: Identifying the obstacles to “regular” jobs Part 2: Accounts of marginalization
1. Obstacles to working Not ideology- many do want to work, actively look for work Unavailability of work that fits a mother’s schedule (1) Perceived discrimination (2) No reliable childcare (3)
So the context: No part time work, no flex schedule No reliable childcare, but grandparents often help Fully insured and counts toward pension And: High labor costs, lots of under-the-table casual employment
2. Accounts of marginalization They do work, for pay or benefits in kind, or for free supporting others work efforts (26 of 38 did do some work at one point) They work well under qualifications Ad hoc, undeclared, no vacation, no sick leave, no protection With a few exceptions
Conclusion In Nordic countries lengthy parental leave provides women with decent work in feminized (state) sector jobs. In Hungary: during the leave (and possibly afterwards) women have trouble finding legal work, so are employed in ad hoc, marginalized jobs, underpaid, insecure, indecent in every way. Culture/ideology important but also context (incentives) dependent.