Gendered Aspects of Activation: The Limits of Welfare to Work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The pursuit of labour market activation policy,
particularly in the United Kingdom through the
government’s welfare reform programme, is
insufficiently attentive to issues of gender and to
the closely related and complex nexus of gender,
work, and care. As a consequence, activation
policy is contributing to a growing ‘care deficit’.

The impact of a care deficit is disproportionately
borne by women. Unless care issues are directly
confronted in the context of welfare reform, the
government’s welfare-to-work policies are likely to
impede progress towards gender equality rather
than advance it.

For the same reasons, the failure to attend to the
gendered social consequences of labour activation
jeopardizes the government’s social justice goals
of combating child poverty and promoting social

The deployment of gender as an explicit category
of analysis is a useful evaluative and critical tool in
a policymaking context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWolfson College, Oxford
PublisherFoundation for Law, Justice and Society
Commissioning bodyFoundation for Law, Justice and Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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