Europe's Gender Equality Agenda

Policy trends since 2008 will be discussed at today's Cook Lecture
Policy trends since 2008 will be discussed at Cook Lecture
Monday, August 25, 2014

Professor Jill Rubery will speak about "Austerity and the Future for Gender Equality in Europe" at the Oct. 1 Alice Hanson Cook Distinguished Lecture.

Open to the public, the event begins with a 4 p.m. reception in Room 423 of the ILR Conference Center in King-Shaw Hall on Garden Avenue. The lecture starts at 4:30 p.m.

A leading scholar of international and comparative studies of gender equality and employment, Rubery teaches at the University of Manchester in England.

Her research, which has implications for policy internationally, focuses on labor market regulation and the role of minimum wages; women's employment and women's pay; employers' working-time policies; and new forms of work and flexibility

Her most recent book, "Women and Austerity," is about the impact of the current economic crisis and austerity policies on women's employment and gender equality. The book was co-edited by M. Karamessini.

Rubery has led many research projects sponsored by organizations such as the Equal Opportunities Commission, the International Labor Organization and the European Commission.

According to Rubery, austerity policies in Europe are disrupting -- and potentially reversing -- progress toward gender equality, which has been a core principle of European policy since the mid-1990s.

Since the 2008 fiscal crisis, the upward trend in women's employment has stalled, and austerity is leading to poorer quality jobs and reduced support for care from public services, she said.

Policy concern over gender equality has receded, Rubery said, leaving the core gender policies focusing primarily on increasing female employment through flexible labor markets and low-wage jobs.