Is planned parenting for women only

Family policy

Janine Bernhardt

To person

holds a doctorate in social science and works as a research assistant in the Family and Family Policy Department at the German Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. [email protected]

The (in) compatibility of family and work is a constant topic in politics, economy, science and society. For a long time it was considered a women's issue, as the sociologist Arlie Hochschild pointed out in 1989 in her much-cited book "The Second Shift". Then as now, mothers do most of the housework and care work - even if they are fully employed. At the same time, their income and career prospects are still lower than those of fathers and childless women. More and more women, especially the highly qualified, postpone their family planning or remain childless. Children and a career are often mutually exclusive for women. For some years now, the topic has also been gaining in importance among men. Nevertheless, the majority of fathers continue to assume the role of breadwinner, although a growing number of them wish to spend less time in gainful employment and more time with their children. The question of reconciliation is therefore a gender-specific one: for mothers it is about more participation in working life and professional opportunities, for fathers it is about more participation in care work and family life.

Division of gainful employment and family work

When starting a family, gender roles are often retraditional. In a statistically measurable way, it begins with the use of parental leave. Although since the introduction of the parental allowance in 2007, the participation of fathers has risen to over 34 percent in 2014, a significantly larger proportion of 96 percent of mothers still make use of the parental allowance. [1] The length of the claim also differs considerably: while most recently almost 93 percent of mothers received parental allowance between ten and twelve months, 79 percent of fathers only took up to two partner months in order to fully utilize the maximum period of entitlement. [2]

The course that begins in the transition to parenthood in the division of gainful employment and family work is also reflected in the employment figures: [3] Mothers are less employed than fathers. In 2013, 61 percent of mothers were gainfully employed, compared to 84 percent of fathers. Mothers are also less likely to be gainfully employed than childless women, whereas fathers are just as likely or even more likely to be gainfully employed than childless men. The majority - 70 percent - of the mothers who are employed work part-time. For fathers, however, the part-time rate of 5.6 percent is even lower than that of childless men. Only a minority of working parents in couple communities currently live models in which both parents work to the same extent. In 2013, for example, nearly 25 percent of all working parents both worked full-time; Couples in whom both work part-time have so far been the exception with a share of three percent. The vast majority of fathers work full time. The so-called "compatibility model of male care marriage" dominates among couples, [4] in which the man with a full-time job takes on the role of breadwinner and the woman is primarily responsible for caring for the children and the household, and the smaller part in the context of part-time employment Household income contributes. In return, mothers spend an average of 40 hours a week on childcare and housework, and fathers spend around half of that with 22 hours. [5]

For the Federal Government's Second Equal Opportunities Report, the Expert Commission proposed a measure for the unequal distribution of care work for the first time: the so-called gender care gap. It measures how much time women do more unpaid work than men every day. In 2012/13, the gap in couple households with children was 83.3 percent; In hours, this means that mothers spend two and a half hours more caring and household chores than fathers. [6]

The type of distribution arrangement differs, however, according to socio-structural characteristics. For example, the labor force participation of mothers, unlike fathers, is heavily dependent on the age of the children: while less than a third of mothers with children under three are employed, it is already twice as many when the youngest child is between three and five years old. [7] Professional qualifications are also of great importance, especially those of the mother. [8] The male sole breadwinner model is most common among couples where the mother does not have a professional qualification. On the other hand, full-time / full-time constellations occur most frequently among academic couples. The most widespread full-time / part-time model is most likely to be found in couples where both have a vocational qualification. There are also major differences between East and West Germany: In West Germany, 76 percent of working parents live a full-time / part-time model, in East Germany the figure is only 46 percent. In almost half of all couple communities in the East, both parents work full-time. [9]