Gender equality and parental leave policies in Switzerland: A discursive and feminist perspective

TitleGender equality and parental leave policies in Switzerland: A discursive and feminist perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLanfranconi, LM, Valarino, I
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume34
Issue4
Number4
Pagination538–560
Date Published11/2014
ISSN0261-0183
Keywordsliveswebsite
Abstract

Taking a discursive and feminist perspective, this paper aims to understand policy changes as well as gendered outcomes in two policy areas within the Swiss welfare state: gender equality and parental leave policies. We conduct a discourse analysis from a social science perspective of policy documents and interviews from 1996 to 2011. Our results show similar discourses concerning welfare responsibility between the two case studies. Specifically, there are opposing state- and economic-oriented discourses, which reveal different gendered assumptions. However, the time period under study shows an increasing mobilisation of discourses arguing for non-state, negotiated solutions between social partners or within work organisations. We discuss the potential risks of gender and class inequalities as well as scenarios for further policy change. Our findings call for an integrative approach to discourse and gender for welfare state analysis in general.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0261018314536132
DOI10.1177/0261018314536132