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Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor$
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Gina Schouten

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813071.001.0001

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A Stalled Revolution and the Gender-Egalitarian Policy Agenda

A Stalled Revolution and the Gender-Egalitarian Policy Agenda

(p.31) 1 A Stalled Revolution and the Gender-Egalitarian Policy Agenda
Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor

Gina Schouten

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the empirical literature on the gendered division of labor, demonstrating that paid work and unpaid caregiving labor remain unequally distributed according to gender and that political interventions can be effective in inducing families to share work more equally. The main goal in this review of the empirical literature is to motivate the project. I then set out the menu of gender-egalitarian interventions that would be, if implemented, promising strategies for eroding the gendered division of labor. Finally, I explore political liberalism’s commitment to mutual respect, working to get more precise about what the gender-egalitarian interventions in question do, why they are appropriately regarded as subsidies for gender-egalitarian lifestyles, and why subsidizing gender egalitarianism seems, intuitively, to be at odds with mutual respect. The goal here is to build a rough understanding of the reciprocity considerations embedded in the ideal of mutual respect.

Keywords:   caregiving, work, social policy, political intervention, empirical review, family leave, work-time regulation, subsidized substitute caregiving, mutual respect

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