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The changing roles of women and men in the family and fertility regulation: some labour policy aspects
In: Family and population. Proceedings of the "Scientific Conference on Family and Population," Espoo, Finland, May 25-27, 1984, edited by Hellevi Hatunen. Helsinki, Finland, Vaestoliitto, 1984. 62-83.There is growing evidence that labor policies, such as those advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), promote changes in familial roles and that these changes in turn have an impact on fertility. A conceptual model describing these linkages is offered and the degree to which the linkages hypothesized in the model are supported by research findings is indicated. The conceptual model specifies that: 1) as reliance on child labor declines, through the enactment of minimum age labor laws, the economic value of children declines, and parents adopt smaller family size ideals; 2) as security increases for the elderly, through the provision of social security and pension plans, the elderly become less dependent on their children, and the perceived need to produce enough children to ensure security in old age is diminished; and 3) as sexual equality in job training and employment and the availability of flexible work schedules increase, sexual equality in the domestic setting increases, and women begin to exert more control over their own fertility. ILO studies and many other studies provide considerable evidence in support of these hypothesized linkages; however, the direction or causal nature of some of the associations has not been established. Development levels, rural or urban residence, and a number of other factors also appear to influence many of these relationships. Overall, the growing body of evidence accords well with ILO programs and instruments which promote: 1) the enactment of minimum age work laws to reduce reliance on child labor, 2) the establishment of social security systems and pension plans to promote the economic independence of the elderly, 3) the promotion of sexual equality in training programs and employment; 4) the promotion of the idea of sexual equality in the domestic setting; and 5) the establishment of employment policies which do not unfairly discriminate against workers with family responsibilities.
[Unpublished] 1983. Presented at the International Conference on Population, 1984, Expert Group on Fertility and Family, New Delhi, January 5-11, 1983. 69 p.This discussion presents a conceptual model indicating some of the established and hypothesized links between a number of labor laws and policies, in particular International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, divisions of labor and resources by sex and age, familial roles, and fertility. The labor laws and policies considered include: legal protection of the young through adoption and execution of conventions regarding the minimum age for employment and thus the suppression of child labor; protection for the elderly and incapacitated through employment related social security systems; support for sexual equality; maternity protection legislation and assistance for workers with family responsibilities; and programs and laws to increase individual access to training, employment, and income generating opportunities in nonfamilial contexts. The paper outlines briefly the content and goals of some of the ILO conventions and programs which have a bearing on the conditions widely thought to be related to fertility decline, i.e., improved status of relatively deprived groups, women, children, the aged, and individual access to training, employment, and incomes. These changes are viewed in the context of their potential impact on family relatins. Thus, the 2nd section focuses on changing parental roles and the impacts of diminishing child labor upon the benefits and costs of bearing and raising children and increasing availability of social security benefits. Comparative empirical evidence of change in relation to fertility is mentioned. The next section examines sexual equality and in particular impacts of equality in the occupational sphere upon equality in the domestic domain and consequent effects upon reproduction. Evidence from different countries is reported. Changing kin roles is the subject of the 4th section. The impacts of social and spatial mobility on kin roles are indicated as well as the potential impacts upon role conflicts, individualism, and lower fertility. From a global perspective, fertility rates remain high in regions of the world where children continue to supply an important labor source to their parents and other elders and where women lack equality of opportunity in labor markets and remain dependent throughout life upon kin, husbands, and sons. In countries where old and young are protected by child labor laws and social security systems and the sexes are relatively equal with respect to training and employment, problems of fertility rates being perceived as too low are encountered and corresponding policies to lighten parental burdens and increase benefits of childbearing have been introduced.