work–family balance


Achieving balance between work and family life is central to the principle and objectives of promoting equal opportunity. The term work–family balance refers to the dual responsibility for maintaining the home and family and carrying out paid work. Motherhood and the gender division of labour places this responsibility primarily on women. This situation is an important determinant of gender-based inequalities between the sexes and of inequalities among women. Conflict between these family responsibilities and the demands of work contributes significantly to women’s disadvantage in the labour market and the slow progress towards equal opportunity and equal treatment of women and men in employment.

See also: reconciliation of work, family and private life

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Based on International Labour Organization – ILO (2007). ABC of Women Workers’ Rights and Gender Equality. Available at: