In their publications, the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) plead for structural changes in society in order to create more social equality between men and women. According to the OECD and the EU, the main issues for these alteration processes to deal with are the compatibility between family responsibility and labour-market participation and the sharing of roles between men and women. To achieve these shared roles, it is necessary for the so-called ‘social contract’ to be abolished. This social contract, which refers to a gendered division of tasks between men and women, seems to be present to a substantial degree in Europe. In households, some developments have taken place in the direction of more equality between men and women, although women have predominantly retained the primary responsibility for unpaid household work all over Europe. Persistent inequality between men and women still exists in the labour market. The latter manifests itself, for example, in the issue of occupational segregation and the resulting inequality in wages between the sexes.

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van Doorne-Huiskes, A. (2018). Work-family arrangements: The role of the state versus the role of the private sector. In Women and Public Policy: The Shifting Boundaries Between the Public and Private Spheres (pp. 93–110). doi:10.4324/9780429434037-17