Poster Paper: Family-Support Policies and Women's Participation in Employment

Thursday, November 7, 2013
West End Ballroom A (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sungjoo Choi, Kyung Hee University and Byong-Seob Kim, Seoul National University
A large increase in the female employment has become the most noticeable social transformation around the world. While women made up 38 percent of the world’s workforce in 1970, the statistic has increased to 47.3 percent after several decades (ILO 2010). Especially, the remarkable increase in the rates of maternal employment across industrialized countries suggests the changing pattern of women’s employment. Scholars indicated there exist a number of factors that have influenced the employment of mothers such as evolving gender roles, economic restructuring, and demographic shifts. Perhaps, governmental family-support policies that aim to promote gender equity, family well-being, and social welfare issues in the workplace may also have contributed to women’s decision to stay in employment when they get married and have children.

 This study examines how governmental family-support policies—child care (governmental subsidies for day care, tax relief for child care) and parental leave (paid maternal and paternal leave)—can facilitate the employment of women and help them improve their quality of life. To answer the question, I investigate the relationships between local governments’ family-support policies and women’s employment rates (archival data from local governments) and their quality of life (survey data). To test the relationships, I use two sources of data—citizen’s attitudes on the role and scope of government (2012) and archival data from 161 local governments in South Korea. I also control for marital status, number of children, socioeconomic factors (household income, education), and demographic factors (age). The results will not only help us to evaluate the effectiveness of welfare policies and programs of local governments but also bring some insight on how the governments can help to enhance social equity for women.