About the Sexual Division of Labour Contributes – Term Paper Example

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The paper "About the Sexual Division of Labour Contributes"  is a good example of a term paper on sociology. The sexual division of labor in Australia takes two key features. On the one side division of labor occurs inside and outside domestic households where the work of women is inappropriately directed to unpaid tasks within the household, while the men’ s work is inappropriately directed to the paid work within the labor market. Furthermore, the aspect of the division of labor takes place in the paid labor market itself. This involves women being crowded into smaller ranges of occupational niches.

The Australian state is faced with continued occupational gender segregation, increased incidences of the part-time and casual employment as well as the on-going gender pay gap. However, there are various legislative and industrial measures designed to enhance the position of women within the workforce. Such developments include anti-discrimination, EEO legislation, equal pay, and parental leave rights. The labor market of Australia remains largely gendered with the gender equality issue stalled and in some regions absolutely not considered (Baxter 2002). Despite the massive developments in the women’ s educational outcomes, particularly in the labor market, in the last two decades, little change has been made to enhance women's participation in the full-time labor market.

Generally, less research has been made to the general distribution of women across the various jobs, and as a result, fewer efforts have been made in the gender pay gap of Australia. Australia like other Western developed states is faced with a crisis related to various fronts such as skills shortages and pension deficits with gender equity as well as female opportunities largely linked to such developments.

Although there is a growing concern about such impending challenges, a number of debates on them hardly ever approach the main problem-sexual division of labor. For example, the aging population and shortage of skills in relation to the idea of targeted policy to enhance women’ s workforce participation is not worth mentioning. Women in Australia concentrate more on short-time work which reflects some forms of underemployment in the country (Charlesworth, et. al. 2002). Since the middle of the 20th century, Australia has experienced increased women’ s labor force participation.

However, the trend of labor force participation in the country remains strongly gendered than in several other comparable countries. This trend is evident within the relatively low participation rates in mothers and the comparative prevalence of part-time among employed mothers. This indicates that the decisions of women around employment vary markedly. The employment participation patterns in Australia raise questions on the influences of economic and industrial context, the policy frameworks as well as prevailing attitudes towards motherhood and employment. Such factors may reflect and reinforce several other influences on the labor force participation patterns.

For instance, the impact of policy systems is complex were labor force attachment among women in Australia is substantial though the country has taken time to implement policies on paid maternity leave (Chalmers, et. al. 2005). Gender contracts and reproductive bargains-the changing breadwinner models The social settlement that emerged in the mid-twentieth century has been considered subsequently normative for the various employment arrangements as well as working conditions. As a result, labor force regulations and the associated welfare provisions failed to recognize the need for a more robust division between paid and unpaid labor.

This could enable women to be in charge of unremunerated caring work within the private sphere, a situation commonly known as a male breadwinner model. Although there is a rapid increase in labor force participation among the women as well as the dwindling legitimacy of settlement, no new developments have been made in settlement what emerges, therefore, is the proliferation of the breadwinner models. The breadwinner models symbolize the national political economies in relation to how the distribution of paid and unpaid work among men and women is highly supported by the labor force regulation as well as welfare institutions (Vosko 2010).


Baxter, J. (2002), Patterns of Change and Stability in the Gender Division of Household Labor in Australia, Journal of Sociology, 38, 399-424.

Baxter, J. et.al. (2008), Life-course Transitions and Housework, Parenthood and Time on Housework, Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 259-272.

Breen, R. & Cooke, L. (2005), The Persistence of the Gendered Division of Domestic Labor, European Sociological Review, 21(1).

Charlesworth, S., et.al. (2002), Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities: Policy Implementation Options, Melbourne, RMIT University.

Chalmers, J., et.al. (2005), Part-time Work and Caring Responsibilities in Australia: Towards an Assessment of Job Quality, Labor & Industry, 15, 41-66.

Greenstein, T.N. (2000), Gender and the Division of Labor in the Home, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 322-335.

Irwin, S. & Bottero, W. (2000), Gender and theories of change within the employment relations, British Journal of Sociology 51(2), 261-280.

Jacobs, J. A. & Gerson, K. (2004), The Time Divide: Work-Family and Gender Inequality, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.

O'Reilly, J. & Spee, C. (2008), The future regulation of work and welfare: Time for a revised social and gender contract, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 4(3), 259-281.

Vosko, L.F. (2009), Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

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