Mothering the Union

Gender politics in the EU

By Roberta Guerrina

Mothering the Union

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6585-9
  • Pages: 188
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: June 2010
  • BIC Category: Politics & government, Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Politics
  • Series: Europe in Change


This exciting book, newly available in paperback, investigates the scope of maternity legislation and family-friendly policies in the European Union. The wider context of the analysis is the development of equal rights as part of a European social dimension. The book is concerned with the influence of values and beliefs about women, equality, politics and employment on the scope of equal rights and maternity provisions. It provides answers to the following questions - what are the stated objectives of family-friendly policies? Which values transpire from the analysis of maternity rights? How do gender power hierarchies shape the overall aim of policies for the reconciliation between work and family life? Through the use of two case studies - one from Italy and one from the UK - it uncovers the values that underpin the policy making process and gives concrete examples of gender policies in action. It will be of vital benefit to anyone studying gender and gender policies in a specific European Union context.


Roberta Guerrina is Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies at the University of Surrey


Introduction. Equal rights, maternity and work-life balance in Europe
1. Feminist interpretations of equality, difference and motherhood
2. The development of women's rights in Europe: Equal pay, equal treatment and constitutionalism
3. Reconciliation between work and family life: A concrete move towards establishing substantive equality as a working principle for the Union?
4. The European Court of Justice: Ruling on gender
5. The family friendly discourse in Italy: Mothering, the family and the nation
6. Between the family and the market: The case of the UK

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