The boy who has not yet grown up – or the realisation of women’s rights on the labour market in Poland and Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: SUMMARY With gender roles still persisting in today’s working life and inhibiting women from utilising their rights on an equal basis with men; the aim of the thesis has been to examine the level of realisation of women’s rights in relation to the principle of non-discrimination and equality on the basis of gender. The examination has been in the format of a comparative analysis between Sweden and Poland in relation to each other and the relevant international standards. The analysis examined the laws of the states; the relevant national case law measures such as benefits, to protect the rights of women in working life, the effectiveness of the protection, the drawbacks and, to determine, if it was possible, how the established current situation may be improved. The measurement of the level of realisation has been examined through what laws, policies, methods etc. are working, or not working and what needs to be emphasised or de-emphasised. The realisation of the right of equal treatment and equal opportunity of men and women and the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of gender on the labour market has been examined through eight different working life perspectives: recruitment, sexual harassment, maternity and parenthood with benefits, the female triple workload, part-time workers and unemployment with benefits, remuneration, career prospects – focusing on managerial positions, and finally old age retirement with pension. Some specific rights have shown a more direct link than others in hindering women from prospering in their professional career, such as protection against sexual harassment in the workplace and maternity and parental leave. Other rights demonstrated less subtle effect on women’s rights in working life and their professional career than expected and had effects projecting into retirement. Poland and Sweden offer protection in law and access to justice and remedies, with occasional unsatisfactory application of the law. Both states have shown extensive actions and measures attempting to realise equality between men and women on the labour market and the principle of equal treatment in relation to the specific rights examined. Both states are aware that in relation to the specific rights examined there are both practical issues that needs solving and effects of gender roles that need to be taken into account in solving the practical issues. Nevertheless, it could not be established that neither Poland nor Sweden overall effectively realised women’s rights on the labour market. Both states should continue their adopted overall method of realisation as they seem to function well for each state in proportion to their respective phase of development, in order to realise their international obligation to reach equality between men and women in relation to their rights on the labour market.

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