Women and welfare in the South
Centre of Social Studies / School of Economics University of Coimbra Coimbra, Portugal
The paper intends to show how the Southern model of welfare and, specially, the portuguese situation defies mainstream theories about welfare regimes. The role of family in social protection, women's care work, the impact of public policies for men and women are dimensions, tradicionaly forgotten, that assume a crucial importance when we discuss welfare production in southern european countries.
The paper characterizes portuguese welfare regime, arguing that women's situation is a key issue to understand its specificities within the South. High participation of women in the labour market, female responsability for care work, low social transfers, insufficient social support infrastructures, strong "familism" in social policy - these are some of the factors that define Portuguese welfare regime and allow to discuss its similarities and diferences with other southern countries.