9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

Do Gender Disparities Shape Female Decisions?

While gender equality is a general aim of European policies, data shows that women are still empirically disadvantaged on a large scale. We look at gender disadvantages from a theoretical point of view, constructing various reaction chains to show potential effects of a wide variety of policy measures and their expected outcome for female decision spaces. How do gender disparities affect female labour market participation, the use of human capital, female income and careers, reproduction, care and participation in political and managerial decision making? How can policy measures change such disparities?
The paper will investigate the value of human capital in the context of Bourdieu?s capital concept, the effect of the EU Lisbon targets for economic growth and sustainable development (e.g. high female employment) on care (care paradox), equity targets in democratic input-output models and the so-called glass ceilings in female careers.
While from a society's point of view, the attainment of high female employment is one of the most important factors to stimulate EU economic development and offset the effects of population ageing, female reality is often determined by many discriminatory factors that shape choices to the disadvantage of society itself - such as, for example, the currently low reproduction rate and observed deficits in old age care. A cross-country macro cluster for Europe concludes the approach, giving an impression of how women in different EU countries deal with the current contradictions and paradoxes of the existing gender order in Europe.