A renascence of the Irish art of lace-making microform : by Alan S Cole

By Alan S Cole

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By household tasks in this case we mean cooking, cleaning, shopping and managing the household budget. What differs between men and women is not only the amount of household work, but also the type of work [Brayfield, 1992]: of the above tasks, the first two are less shared by spouses. The percentage of men collaborating varies from 10% in Bulgaria to 27% in the Czech Republic, for cooking, and 12% in Italy to 38% in Germany for cleaning. The other two activities are better shared, with a minimum of 38% in Switzerland and a maximum of 55% in Germany for shopping and a minimum of 46% in Hungary and a maximum of 75% in Bulgaria for the management of the family budget.

4]. Alongside the familiar picture of the relation between employment and the likelihood of forming a formal or informal partnership, a less well known situation exists in the countries of eastern Europe, where women’s participation in employment has long been fully attained. For these countries, the employment of women is a structural element of society (the gender-oriented effects of recent variations in economic situation are not dealt with here) which is partly imposed and not always chosen, rather than a fact of emancipation.

Women’s employment renders the duration and continuity of a partnership more uncertain. In countries where the traditional family still represents an important value, such as Italy, “ the greater a women’s commitment to work, the greater is the risk of the partnership’s dissolving” [De Rose, Di Cesare, Chap. 7]. Conversely, employment represents an element of stability for men. Even in areas with better organized institutions for the support of the family and maternity (Switzerland and Hungary), women’s participation in extra-domestic work nonetheless constitutes a risk to the stability of the couple’s relationship.

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