Dare to Share: Germany's Experience Promoting Equal Partnership in Families

image of Dare to Share: Germany's Experience Promoting Equal Partnership in Families

This review introduces the background to and issues at stake in promoting equal partnerships in families in Germany.  It encourages German policy makers to build on the important reforms since the mid-2000s to enable both fathers and mothers to have careers and children, and urges families to “dare to share”. To those ends it places Germany’s experience in an international comparison, and draws from the experience in, for example, France and the Nordic countries which have longstanding policies to support work-life balance and strengthen gender equality. The review starts with an overview chapter also explaining why and how equal sharing pays for families, children, the economy and society as a whole. The book presents current outcomes, policy trends, as well as detailed analysis of the drivers of paid and unpaid work and how more equal partnerships in families may help sustain fertility rates.  The book examines policies to promote partnership, looking both at persistent shortcomings and progress achieved through reform since the mid-2000s. The book includes a set of policy recommendations designed to enable parents to share work and family responsibilities more equally.

English Also available in: German

Earning and working unequally: Partnered parents in paid work

This chapter focuses on gender inequality in paid work. The chapter looks first at the working weeks of men and women of different ages across the OECD. It then focuses on German parents to find that German women are more likely to work part-time and shorter part-time hours than in OECD countries. And when they do work full-time, their hours – and those of their male partners – are quite long. As a rule, though, German mothers in employment work short part-time hours, while fathers work long full-time hours. On average German mothers and fathers do not share paid work equally. As a result, mothers contribute less than fathers to household income. Accordingly, the wide gaps in earnings and working hours are the main subject of the next section. The last section analyses why some mothers work part-time and some full-time. It factors into its analysis mothers’ levels of educational attainment, the number of children they have, how old they are, and the earnings and working hours of their partners. The chapter calls for policies that support the work-life balance and sustain birth rates, female employment, and more equally shared paid work.

English Also available in: German

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