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

Policies to support equal partnerships in families in Germany

This chapter considers ways in which Germany may continue to promote equal partnerships in families. The chapter first introduces the issues and sets out the main findings, before examining policies in OECD countries that foster equal partnership in families and discussing how those policies differ in their approach and tools. Section 3 looks at how financial incentive structures embodied in tax/benefit systems may encourage both parents to work. Parental leave is a critical component of policies to reconcile work and family life and the main subject of the next section, which considers how reform in Germany has changed father’s and mother’s leave taking behaviour. Section 5 analyses the implications of a potential family working-time model. Such a scheme could foster gender equality, involve fathers more in child care and housework, and enable mothers to work full-time or longer part-time hours. The next section discusses the provision of early childhood education and care services and out-ofschool- hours care. Finally, the chapter considers how stakeholders can (and have) come together to offer flexible working-time arrangements that help balance paid work with family commitments.

English Also available in: German

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