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ERIC Number: ED352128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Family Policies and Gender Equality.
Ferber, Marianne A.
Public policies intended to help those who are disadvantaged by the traditional sexual division of family and work responsibilities often tend to perpetuate the very system responsible for many inequalities. One example of such policies is the present income tax structure. Because goods and services produced in the household are not taxed, one-earner couples are at a considerable advantage over couples who must buy these goods and services with after-tax earnings. Two married people with relatively equal earnings pay substantially more in taxes than they would if they were single, and two people with only one income pay substantially less than the single wage-earner. These and other policies that penalize two-earner families are unlikely to change soon; however, no new programs with similar effects should be added. Though women would clearly benefit from employment legislation that would make it easier to combine family and job responsibilities, there would be serious consequences for women's employment if only women were eligible for legislated benefits, because employers would then have an additional reason for hiring men in preference to women. Parental leave for the birth and care of children, for example, should be adopted for men as well as women. Opponents of such leaves invariably point to the toll on businesses, offering high estimates of costs and insupportable projections of other effects. Pressure to change public policy could mount if more people were aware of the advantages that one-earner couples enjoy and of the contributions of employed wives and mothers to the nation's economy. (Contains 13 references.) (AC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A