Multi-National Work-Family Research Project
(Project 3535)

Social Policy Analysis

An extensive policy analysis was conducted to complement and contextualize the analysis of cross-national survey data. Information was compiled from national and international sources (OECD, ILO, the UN) to allow a rich description and comparative policy analysis of institutional factors that affect women's employment and opportunities for men and women to balance work and family responsibilities. Key domains included statistics on women's and mothers' education and labour force participation, dual-earner couples, gender equality policies, government financial support to families, and work-family policies including leave policies, child care provision, and policies related to part-time work and flexible work scheduling. Indexes and classificatory systems derived from the data, in conjunction with UN Gender Development Index Scores, will be correlated with obtained scores on the Gender Ideology Scale and considered as factors that directly and indirectly affect work-family conflict and the importance of employer-based work-family practices.

The main findings from the analysis are presented below. For more information see: Aycan, 2005; Lero & Bardoel, 2008

In countries where the human/gender development index is high (e.g., Australia, the US and Canada), there is high government and workplace policy support.

In countries where the human/gender development index is lower (e.g., India, Indonesia and Turkey), there is high extended family and paid worker support.

The level of institutional support for work-family provided by governments and organizations is perceived to be insufficient in all countries.

Developed countries fare better than underdeveloped countries. Although similar laws exist in underdeveloped countries, enforcement is a problem.