Increasing numbers of women, including mothers, in employment has become a major European objective, for reasons of both gender equality and economic regeneration. Their past allocation to the home may not have been fair to women, but it did ensure that caring and domestic work was achieved. The new scenario has brought with it considerable social change, including the erosion of the 'traditional' family, declining fertility, and growing problems of work-life 'balance'. An international team of expert authors addresses these topics, drawing on original quantitative and qualitative research materials from Britain, France, The Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal. Many of the chapters undertake comparative analysis, drawing on evidence from these countries, thereby facilitating a realistic evaluation of the policy options available. Wider questions, including the consequence of these changes for gender and class inequalities, are also addressed.

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