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Flexicurity as a policy strategy: the implications for gender equality

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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.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/25657/

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