Gender Segregation in the Swedish Labour Market

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Gender and Economics’ Paper

Gender Segregation in the Labour Market in Sweden

Table of Content
1. introduction
2. the swedish model
2.1 the labour market and its development in the swedish welfare state 3. gender in the Swedish labour market
3.1 occupational gender segregation
3.2 facts and figures
3.3 “female” and “male” occupations
3.2 vertical segregation and wage inequalities
3.5 Impact of increasing female employment on gender segregation 3.6 government measures concerning gender issues
4. concluding remarks and preview

Introduction
Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries are widely known for their strong commitment to equality between men and women. During the development of the welfare state the government supported women’s participation in the labor market. This resulted in a high rate of female employment in Sweden today. Regarding this, it is striking that the Swedish labor market has one of the highest degrees of gender segregation in the world and considerable gender inequalities. The roots for this segregation can be seen in the growing welfare state with women starting to work overall in the public and service sector in areas like health care and child-care while men still dominated in the private sector. Policies for women’s integration and several other government measures to desegregate the labor market were implemented and performed in the last years. However, today the gender segregation in Sweden is still at a higher level than in the majority of the other countries in Europe. This paper offers an analysis of the Swedish labor market regarding gender with an economical perspective.

Occupational Gender Segregation
Gender Segregation is one of the most discussed topics in Europe especially in Sweden. The segregation that will be analyzed in this paper can be seen as a result of multidimensional process which is manifested in differences in gender patterns of representation within occupations as well as within different employment contract groups and employment status (http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/cete/papers/dp0302.pdf , p. 2). “Gender segregation means that women and men to a certain extent work in different occupations or in different sectors or under different contractual terms and conditions” (ibid p. 2). The gender-based occupational segregation is both the “tendency for men and women to be employed in different occupations”, which is the horizontal segregation and the tendency to be employed in “different positions within the same occupation or occupational group”, the vertical segregation (http://ilo-mirror.library.cornell.edu/public/english/support/publ/pdf/women.pdf#page=198, p. 191). To measure segregation, the Index of Dissimilarity (ID) is most widely used in the research literature and also in this paper. Its value ranges from 0, which is “no segregation with equal percent of women and men in each and every occupation” to 1, which is “complete segregation with female workers in occupations where there are no male workers” (idib., p. 196). It is important to include a discussion of division of work in the households when looking at gender segregation. In Scandinavian countries a two-bread-winner model is the norm with subcontracted work in the households. At the same time, the former typical women’s household work like caring for children, elderly and disabled people was and is more and more taken over by the public sector. This expanding public sector leads to new employments for women and has an impact on the gender segregation which is also worth to be examined (http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/cete/papers/dp0302.pdf , p. 2).

Facts and figures

Sweden has one of the highest female employment rates and a high female education level. At the same time, data indicate that Sweden’s gender segregation is decreasing in the labour market, but still at a high level...
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