Work-life Balance: Societal and Private Influences
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This article is intended to contribute to the discussion about the possibilities for supporting work-life balance. It has two basic objectives. The first is to assess the dependence of work-life balance on economic conditions and the character of the given welfare/family regime. The second is to evaluate how much work-life balance is influenced by private-life determinants and how much by external, that is, structural and institutional, factors. The analysis is based on a comparison of the situation in the Czech Republic with selected countries. Success at achieving a work-life balance is examined both from a subjective perspective and in relation to the three basic social goals it is intended to facilitate: women’s employment, people’s reproductive plans, and gender equality. An international comparison shows that while the forms and success of harmonising family and professional roles in countries with different external factors have specific national features, people’s subjective assessments of their ability to combine these two spheres of activity vary little among economically active partners. The reason for this appears to be that to some extent people adapt (more or less voluntarily) their harmonisation strategies to the external conditions in individual countries. Also, these strategies are influenced by national socio-cultural specifics and differences in the degree of acceptance of gender inequalities.
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