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Women, work and equal opportunities in post-communist transition

Pollert, Anna


Anna Pollert


This article examines gender work and equal opportunities (EO) in five central eastern European (CEE) candidates to an enlarged European Union (EU): the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. It demonstrates how capitalist transition has eroded women's Communist economic and social legacy, and considers implications for EO of the EU enlargement process, Analysis of decline begins with an outline of women's position under Communism, showing both similarities in gender inequality to those of capitalism, but also significant differences and advances. Post-transition is then examined in terms of the UN Gender Development Index, women's loss of social support, their decline in labour force participation and changes in employment and political representation, A limitation in available data is lack of information on unregulated employment and informal work - both major developments in CEE.The objective picture is then set against subjective responses to change - a key factor in gender EO prospects. Finally, developments in EO monitoring and enforcement agencies are reviewed, with the conclusion drawing these levels of enquiry together to assess the possibilities of EU enlargement as a spur to greater commitment to gender equality in CEE.


Pollert, A. (2003). Women, work and equal opportunities in post-communist transition. Work, Employment and Society, 17(2), 331-357.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2003
Journal Work, Employment and Society
Print ISSN 0950-0170
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 331-357
Keywords women, work, equal opportunity, post-communism
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