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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.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. Fertility and familiy. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 321-51. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements)This paper 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. Brielfy outlined are the content and goals of some of the ILO conventions and programms that have a bearing on the conditions widely thought to be related to fertility decline. These include improved status of relatively deprive groups, such as women and children, and individual access to training, employment and incomes. These changes are viewed in terms of their potential impact on family relations, including changing parental roles and costs of bearing and raising children in view of the impact of diminishing child labor, and the increasing availability of social security benefits. Another aspect is sexual equality, in particular the impact of equality in the occupational sphere on equality in the domestic sphere and the consequent effects on reproduction. In addition, the impacts of social and spatial mobility are indicated and the potential effects on role conflicts, individualism and lower fertility. A thrust of the paper is to emphasize the critical intervening nature of changing familial roles, which have been neglected, both in labor reports and related activities as well as in the documentation and policy-making related to fertility. Micro-evidence from a variety of cultural contexts shows how changes and differences in allocations of tasks and resources and status benefits between kin, parents and offspring, wives and husbands are associated with changes and differences in fertility-related aspirations and patterns of regulation. Finally, the discussion serves to underline the pervasive and profound nature of the potential impacts of divisions of labor and employment policies on fertility levels, demonstrating that changes in familial roles and relations are central to this process of linkage. Thus, the need is made apparent for more knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of change in this area at the micro-level and in a variety of cultural areas, if government policies and programms are to achieve their specific goals with respect both to employment and demographic policies.
Population Bulletin of the Economic Commission for Western Asia. 1980; (19):69-80.The author cites problems in the definitions of different categories of economic activity and employment status which have been made by the UN. The term "casual workers" has never been clarified and these people were described as both employed and unemployed on different occasions; there is also no allowance for the term underemployed in the UN classification. The latter term, he concludes, is not included in most censuses. The UN in its Principles and Recommendations for Population Censuses, discusses sex-based stereotypes which he states are based on a set of conventions that are arbitrary, irrational, and complex. However on the basis of the UN rules it is possible to divide the population into 3 categories: 1) those who are economically active (black), 2) those who are not active (white), and 3) those whose classification is in doubt (gray). In developed countries most people are either in the black or the white area and the amount in the gray area is small, but in developing countries the gray area may be the majority of the population. In the Swaziland census no attempt was made to provide a clear picture of employment. In view of the complexity of the underlying concepts, the decisions as to whether a person should be classified as economically active or not should be left to the statisticians, not the census enumerators.