Mothering in Europe feminist critique of European policies on motherhood and employment
This article looks at the role of the European Union in promoting substantive equality for men and women in the European labour market. For this purpose it looks at the assumptions about gender roles and gender divisions of labour enshrined by EU directives on maternity rights and parental leave. The article presents a theoretical discussion of the role of EU policies in protecting women's rights and thus promoting a socioeconomic model that allows men and women to reconcile work and family life. The main policies at the heart of this research are the 1992 Pregnant Worker Directive, the 1996 Parental Leave Directive, the 1992 Childcare Recommendations and the 2000 Council Resolution on Balanced Participation in Work and Family Life. The article thus assesses the gender biases of EU policies and the ensuing implications for the future of gender relations and socioeconomic trends in Europe.