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Gender Inequalities in Lone Parenthood: The Swiss Case

Policy Analysis
Social Welfare
Family
Ornella Larenza
Université de Lausanne
Ornella Larenza
Université de Lausanne
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Abstract

Lone parenthood (LP) in Switzerland is a gendered phenomenon as women are mostly assigned custody of their children after separation. Consequently, LP negative consequences such as low financial resources and poor health affect women more than men. Lone parents’ circumstances are also determined by the social policy context they face, but this tends to be neglected by the existing literature on the subject. Yet, it might be crucial in determining the overall subjective experience of LP. This paper analysis the potential impact of the current Swiss social policy context on lone parents’ vulnerability. By analysing both explicit (childcare services, leaves and family allowances) and the main implicit family policies (social assistance, health insurance, unemployment insurance and old age pensions) a further source of gender inequality comes to the surface. Whether by overrepresentation or via policy-­‐driven gender inequalities, Swiss women are more exposed than men to LP negative outcomes.