ARE CHANGES IN FAMILY-FRIENDLY
POLICIES RELATED TO GENDERED
DIVISIONS OF TIME USE?
A STUDY OF SPAIN AND SWEDEN,
Emma Hagqvist1, Mikael Nordenmark1, Glòria Peréz2, Sara Trujillo Alemán2
and Katja Gillander Gådin1
1) Mid Sweden University, Sweden; 2) Barcelona Agency of Public Health, Spain
Founded by the 7th frame work SOPHIE project
• Time allocation is a highly gendered process, and labour division is
an important factor in gender equality. Being a parent often increase
gendered inequalities in time use.
• States play an important role in gender equality through the
structuring of policies.
• Family-friendly policies (FFP) – important for gender norms on both
micro and macro level
• FFP differ between countries
FFP important for equality: generous paid leave, quotas, universal
coverage, pooled risk among employers and flexibility at workplace
• The aim of this study is to explore family-friendly policies as a factor
influencing gendered time use
• Spain - traditional welfare model and Sweden - dual-earner/ social
• MTUS data from 1990, 2000 and 2010
• Sample: men and women, 18-65, married or cohabiting with children.
• 1974: 6 month leave with 90 % of
– 9 month with 90 % of pay and 3
months with flat rate
– Paternal leave 10 days
• 1989: 15 months
• 1995: 1 month reserved for each
• 2002: 2 months for each parent
and expanded leave to 16 months
Spain and Basque Country
– maternity leave 14 weeks with 100
% of pay
– 2 days of paternal leave
– leave without compensation
• 1989: maternity leave 16 weeks (4
can be transferred to father)
• 2007 paternal leave 13 days (15
for public employees) with 100 %
• In 2000 in BC a flat-rate benefit to
either parent for three years after
baby is born
Our hypothesis is that if family-friendly policies are important for
gendered time use, then Sweden’s data should show a successive
development towards more gender-equal time use, whereas data
from the Basque Country, should show changes towards more
gender-equal time use after 2000.
Year Paid labour Unpaid labour Child care
Fathers (SP) 2000 0.39** 0.13** 0.21**
2010 -0.38** 0.27** 0.43**
Mothers (SP) 2000 0.66** -0.31** 0.37**
2010 1.84** -1.51** 0.37**
Fathers (SW) 2000 -1.28** 0.19* 0.06***
2010 -1.03** 0.24** 0.25**
Mothers (SW) 2000 -0.02*** -0.66** -0.38**
2010 0.89** -0.98** -0.39**
OLS regression o of the difference in time use among fathers and mothers in
Spain and Sweden for 2000 and 2010 relative to 1990 in hours per day, B value
**p<0.001; *p<0.05; ***p>0.05
OLS regressions of the difference between fathers and mothers in time use in
1990, 2000 and 2010, with fathers as referents, in hours per day, B values
Spanish mothers Swedish mothers
Paid labour Unpaid labour Child care Paid labour Unpaid labour Child care
1990 -4.42** 3.92** 0.79** -3.58** 2.16** 1.10**
2000 -4.14** 3.47** 0.98** -2.31** 1.32** 0.66**
2010 -2.21** 2.14** 0.79** -1.65** 0.95** 0.46**
• The results show that changes in the use of time among mothers and
fathers are associated to changes in FFP directed towards more
• The conclusion is that Family-friendly policies with a gender-equal
approach could influence the division of labour between men and
women, which is one of many factors affecting gender equality.
Division of labour, policies, gender
equality and the well-being of men and
Mid Sweden University
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Policies can either prohibit discrimination directly through antidiscrimination laws or promote stronger gender egalitarianism
FFP are often argued to be the most important in the transformation of gender norms towards greater gender equality
FFP either support a dual-earner model or a traditional model. Signals of equal share of labour.
Ray et al. (2009) identified five family policies that are considered to be the most important for gender equality: (1) generous paid leave, (2) non-transferable quotas of leave for each parent, (3) universal coverage combined with modest eligibility restrictions, (4) financing structures that pool risk among many employers and (5) scheduling flexibility in the workplace.
We use data from 1990 to 2010, and by doing that we can se trends both in time use and in changes in the structuring of policies.
For Spain we used data from the Basque Country in north east Spain
Sweden was the first country in the EU to introduce a generous and flexible parental leave system with an aim of equalising the shares of breadwinning and child care responsibilities
First to introduce FFP in EU (1974)
First 6 moths leave with 90 % of pay.
1980 leave had increased to 9 months with 90 % of pay and 3 months with flat rate.
1989 increased to 15 moths
1995, one month was reserved for each parent and in 2002 it became 2 months (at the same time leave was expanded to 16 months).
Parental leave is for both parents.
No maternal leave.
Since 1980, there was Paternal leave for 10 days after the baby is born.
In the early 1980s, leave without compensation was introduced, allowing one parent to stay at home with their children until they are three years old
In 1995, parents with children up to the age of six were allowed to reduce their work days, with a reduction in pay that is not subsidised
Sweden has made successive changed toward more gender equality regarding FFP. They meet 4 out of 5 of the policies Ray et al consider most important for gender equality.
In Spain few changes has been made. Two main things, 13 days for fathers. And that BC introduced a flat-rate for either parents.
Data were collected from the Multinational Time Use Study database (MTUS)
Swedish data were collected from Statistics Sweden, and Spanish data were collected from the Basque Statistics Office (Eurostat)
The data are cross-sectional and, for both countries, were extracted from three periods of similar years. For the Basque country, data were derived from the time periods 1992-1993, 2002-2003 and 2008; for Sweden, data were derived from the 1990-1991, 2000-2001 and 2010-2011 periods
The data included information on how respondents spent their time according to 150 different activity codes within a 24-hour period.
The samples include men and women from 18 to 65 years old who are married or cohabiting and who have one or more children living at home.
OLS regression with B values.
First table: we tested per year with 1990 as a constant and 2000 and 2010 as dummies. We checked for significant time differences among mothers and fathers, respectively.
Second table: we checked for significant differences in the time use of mothers compared with fathers
Sweden do a successive development towards gender equality
I Spain (BC) small changes are made between 1990 and 2000, after 2000 changes are made toward more gender equality
In the absence of paid parental leave and leave reserved for either parent, traditional gender roles and the typically lower earnings of mothers (relative to fathers) in the labour market create strong incentives for women to reduce their employment and undertake a large majority of the child care and household responsibilities.