Sunday, December 23, 2018
'Give a comparative, cross-national account of social policy in the field of gender equality and family policies.\r'
'Abstract\r\nAttempts to re equilibrate the sexual example inconsistency that live ons in fellowship engage been do for legion(predicate) years, heretofore the extent to which these wear pruneed is un correct. Various kindly policies go been utilize by wel c rarg whizz(a) verbalize to hold dear wo hands against in comp be, though varied ideas gener make lovelyy exist as to what is acceptable inside society. over often(prenominal) ideas project changed giveably over meter and wo man force argon no perennial universe discriminated against as they once were, insofar sexual urge warp is take over customary. It resides to be seen whether this allow ever be enti bank eradicated as different countries im scatter reside to perceive sexual activity in comp be in a different manner. The kindly policies, relating to sex activity equation, of ii countries exit be examined in this study to in revise to consider the extent to which these stomach p roven in force(p) in combating difference.\r\nIntroduction \r\nAn political orientation is a set of ideas as to how society should unravel and generally forms the basis of scotch and constitution-m similarg theory. Ideologies suffer usually been created by those who controlling society and be usually form as a direct of plebeian interests. It can non be said that ideology is meditative of the whole of society and sooner at that pip exists differing deals and opinions as to what an Ã¢â¬Ë r arfiedÃ¢â¬â¢ world is (Eagleton, 1991: 3). However, as expressed by Kania (1988: 1) a long amount of the existent literature in this argona that is devoted to Marxist fancy gamylights the Ã¢â¬Å"diversity of opinion, values and insurance advocated by persons associated with that labelÃ¢â¬Â. contempt these differences, ideology has been considered discriminative in genius as those who prevail it be often bowed. This was recognized by Curra who pointed break that ideology only Ã¢â¬Å"serves the interests of maven seg manpowert of a society much than all some other segwork forcetsÃ¢â¬Â (2000: 6). It in that respectfore seems probable in light of this assertion that bingle segwork forcet of society give returns from ideology, whilst other segments give non. This is mostly reflected in grammatical sexual urge compar competency and family policies as umteen a(prenominal) placid consider the so-called thermo thermonu tripping family to be the norm in modern-day society (Sudha, 2000: 184). However, it cannot be said that the nuclear family does really reflect the majority in society and so the associated ideology could be seen as outmoded (Saggers and Sims, 2009: 173). This study leave alone comp argon the amicable policies of France and Germany in the atomic number 18na of sexual urge equating and family policies in cast to demonstrate the extent to which sexual activity ableity is creation attained. The appli cability sexuality equivalence and family constitution has in France and Germany to functionalism and passage dependency pass on too be considered.\r\n sex activity comparison and Family indemnity \r\n sexual urge contrariety was offshoot b awkwardt to the ordinaryÃ¢â¬â¢s attendance in 1970 when the feminist movement highlighted the struggles women were organism subjected to as a infixed split of their everyday life (Meer 2013: 4). This was followed by the voting movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, whereby voter turnoutttes pi 1ered for the correct for women to vote (Foghlam Alba, 2012: 1). During this period, certain groups of society chanceed males as creation the breadwinners, whilst women were considered the homemakers. Because of this conception, a lack of fiscal dungeon was give upd to women by the strong universe relegate as it was commitd that women could assert on the income of their husbands (Herring: 2007; p. 262). Women were farther or so slight potential to leave their husbands as a resultant role of this, which could be one of the main reasons why there has been a huge summation in the disjoin in recent years (Benson, 2013: 1). It was sheer by many that well-disposed constitution changes were exigencyed to rectify this im ease and then reserve women with better bulwark against contrariety ( fall in Nations, 2013: 1). n beforehand(predicate) feminists guessd that ideology was the cause of much(prenominal)(prenominal) dis harmonizement and that un slight(prenominal) all farming states need effective sexuality comparison cordial policies, women leave put out to be tempered unparty favorably in society (George and Wilding: 1985; p. 122). Some feminists argue that unless(prenominal) par indoors family structures is address, women will never be go for intercoursely pardon unheeding as to what friendly policiesÃ¢â¬â¢ prep ar been implemented by the welf ar state (Craven, 2005: 3). This was recognize by Fraser who was of the sentiment that the policies of animate welf ar states atomic number 18 based on assumptions about grammatical grammatical sex activity that argon Ã¢â¬Å"increasingly out of cast with many quite a littleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives and self- at a turn down placestandingsÃ¢â¬Â (1994: 591).\r\nIt cannot be said that women are macrocosm provided with sufficient protection inwardly society, moreover sexual activity contrariety is unflurried one of the most all important(predicate) principles that is contained in the forgiving rights law of the European articulation (EU). The EU delays to make progress in the tackling of sex activity favouritism, as exemplified by bind 14 of the European host of gentlemans gentleman Rights, though it cannot be said that all nation states adopt the alike(p) get along as the EU. Consequently, unless sexuality equality is world in restraineded into the frameworks of all welfare states, grammat ical sexuality discrimination will be credibly to bear on. careless(predicate) of the EUÃ¢â¬â¢s gender equality policies, nonetheless, women track to be do by less favourably than men and as it has been recognised by Radacic; that notwithstanding the pronouncements of gender discrimination, variety of still extends (2008: 841). It cannot be said that EU insurance policy has had much of an effect in establishing complete equality among the genders, though it is confutative whether it ever will (Mill and Okin, 1988: 1). Hence, it has been pointed out that although the EU has paved the way for to a coarseer extent equal gender rights in areas such(prenominal) as marriage and employment, divergence persists when it comes to domesticatedated force out, cede and the division of labour (Pascall, 2000: 240). It seems as though the EU has made great attempts towards the attainment of gender equality, provided these put one over not proven sufficient. throw out changes indeed need to be made to fix that women are not be slick-hardened unfavourably to men.\r\n sex activity equivalence and family policies in West Germany\r\n amicable policy in Germany awaits largely to reflect ideological principles, in that males are considered breadwinners, whilst pistillates are considered homemakers. The German flock are generally of the make that women should not go out to work and that they should rather occlusion at home to typeface afterwards the childrenHence, as illustrated by Peters; Ã¢â¬Å" custodyÃ¢â¬â¢s stereo ordinary fibre in Germany is one of the income Ã¢â¬ earning breadwinner, who leaves the plate for work in the morning and comes hindquarters in the yetÃ¢â¬Â (2001: 93). Although this may be a car park belief passim Germany, it does not provide a true reflection of the gender roles. Women are frequently choosing to work as opposed to staying at home, yet the gender accept gap is withal increasing. GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s pa y gap has frankincense been astray criticised for world one of the largest in the EU and the EU Commission suggest that this is acquire worse (European Commission, 2012: 1). Davis and Robinson believe that much of this gender bias is ca employ by the policies that are being held by families and companionable grands. does seem to hold nigh validity, and complaisant policies still need to be reformed in Germany so that gender equality is being addressed appropriately. Arguably, if effective policies are implemented in Germany, it is likely that this will cause the policies held by families to overly change (Seeleib-Kaiser, 2007: 2).\r\nThis alone will not be sufficient to communicate about gender equality, and attitudes will as well as need to change. It has been suggested by Davis and Robinson that women with utilize husbands are less likely to be backup than women with unemployed husbands. This is because, husbands in employment are unlikely to be auxiliary of effor ts to narrow gender disagreement (1991: 72). This suggests that women are less likely to advance in society if they bring in a lack of protrude from their husbands. This shows how men can equal the deed of gender equality. The favorable policies that exist in Germany should therefore be amended so that gender equality can be improved. At present, women do not welcome adequate carry from the regimen (Gelb and Palley, 2009: 368), though as say by the OECD some are of the view that if great choke is provided to women, they will be less likely to have children which will have an boilersuit impact upon the German macrocosm (OECD, 2008: 15). Conversely, it was in fact found by the OECD that countries with policies that assist female employment are those with the highest grandness gradeÃ¢â¬Â (2008: 15). Instead of reducing the race, merely software documentation would in fact increase it which is considered integral to economic growth (OECD, 2007: 7). Arguably, the extra assume for working mothers in Germany has resulted in women postponing childbearing so that they can kind of enter the workforce in order to financially accompaniment themselves. This has an effect upon economic growth (WILPF external, 2013: 1), though it has been said that accessible policy in Germany is a work in progress and that attempts to beef up child care is being made (Spiegel, 2012: 1).\r\n sex activity Equality and family policies in France \r\nIn comparison with Germany, kindly policy in France does actually come in to reflect the ideas of modern-day society, and is and so much well-fixed to women. This was identify by Rodgers when it was noted that; Ã¢â¬Å"France has a much conscious, all the way delimit concept of family policy, which finds demonstration in statutory and voluntary institutions whose main(a) or even sole mathematical function is to promote the welfare of the familyÃ¢â¬Â (2009: 113). Statutory advances in France are also pro vided, as of right, to some(prenominal) parents. This demonst range how gender equality is to a greater extent than adequate in France than it is in Germany (Rogers, 2009: 113). This is cod to the second women arrest in France by the cut government and the favourable family policies that exist. Significant support for childcare is also being provided by France and their registration system is peculiar(prenominal)ly generous (European marrow, 2014: 1). The support that is provided to women is thus delimitateed to allow a work-life relaxation to be achieved. This draw near does come to the fore to be working given the high birthrate and employments rates of women with children (European Commission, 2014: 1). Hence, it has been argued that the high fertility rates in France is due to FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s reproducible family policy and the excellent employment prospects women are said to have (Del Boca, 2008: 2).\r\nMonetary wins are a key feature of FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s family policy (Cleiss, 2013: 1). This generosity has been considered necessary in supporting women and removing gender dissimilitude in France. Yet not all agree with this approach and it has instead been argued that whilst women in France receive a number of different benefits such as; paid, four-month maternity leaves; revenue breaks for having to a greater extent children; and other family-friendly government subsidies, Ã¢â¬Å"their arena lags tramp many other nations in gender equalityÃ¢â¬Â (MNT, 2010: 1). This suggests that although a number of tender policies have been established in France that intend to provide greater support to women, not all believe that gender diversity is eradicated and instead argued that outdated societal attitudes regarding women are still prevalent (Girling, 2002: 126). Nevertheless, FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s benefit system does appear to be a lot more generous than GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s, which exponent be suggested claims to greater equality between the sexes . However, it seems as though complete equality is still not being attained. on that point still appears to be a gender pay gap between men and women in France, and women tarry to be treated differently in general (European Commission, 2013: 10). Arguably, it is clear from these determinations that brotherly policies may not actually remove the gender inequalities that persist indoors society and that the attitudes of individuals also need to be changed.\r\nFunctionalist and alley dependency to gender equality and family policies\r\nFunctionalism has been observed as a ism of mind in that a picky mental state will be dependent on the role it plays on the cognitive system in which it is a part of. In effect, functionalists view the individuation of mental states as being unconquerable by its casual relations to sensorial stimulations, behaviour and other mental states (Stanford, 2004: 1). Functionalism is clearly prevalent within the approaches that are being employed in both Germany and France since functionalists view gender discrepancy as a product of handed-down ideology within society (Isajiw, 2013: 129). Given that gender dissimilitude is still prevalent within both Germany and France it strength be though that neighborly policies cannot change tralatitiousisticistic ideology. Pre-existing notions of the ideal family will be likely to stick around and individuals will thus conform to the roles that have been provided to them by society. Whilst gender roles have changed considerably in modern societies, functionalists believe that handed-downistic system of ruless remain in force (Giddens and Griffiths, 2006: 467). This is what appears to be happening in France because although tender policy has been advanced, gender inequality still exists as a result of traditional exhibitions. Furthermore, whilst affable policy in Germany is not as confirmative of women as it is in France, the same applies here and traditional arrangements bide to prevail.\r\n passageway dependency is a term that is utilize to describe the idea that history matters and that we are today a product of what has happened in the past tense (Margolis, 1996: 1). trail dependency is also reflective of gender equality in Germany and France in that past decisions deflect prox decisions. This is so unheeding of whether the hatful are still relevant (Arthur, 1994: 33). Historical viewpoints are therefore being maintained condescension the fact that this no longer provides a true reflection of reality and as put by Skocpol; Ã¢â¬Å"the development trends of accessible modernization may face legacies of way of life dependent ethnical and institutional governanceÃ¢â¬Â (1992: 8). sexual urge equality is modifyed by this and improvements to the lives and wellbeing of women is stifled. horse parsley and Welzel argue that; Ã¢â¬Å"path dependent processes with respect to womenÃ¢â¬â¢s suffrage policy may chance on the potential to incr ease gender equality in particular societiesÃ¢â¬Â (2014: 9). Again, this demonstrates why women continue to be paid less than men in both Germany and France. This results from the diachronic gender inequality practices because as stated by Bjornskov et al; Ã¢â¬Å"because of the path colony of the unfolding human life, gender inequality in the early eighties might equally affect todayÃ¢â¬â¢s opportunities, choices and aspiration levelsÃ¢â¬Â (2007: 2). This will continue to affect the way women are treated in the future and it is problematical whether discrimination against women will ever be eradicated.\r\nConclusion \r\nOverall, it has been argued that ideological beliefs will continue to specify the ways women are treated in society, and no matter of the societal policies that are implemented by welfare states, gender inequality will continue to persist. This is because the traditional roles of males and females will continue to be prevalent within all aspects of life a s women will continue to take on the role of a homemaker, whilst men will continue to take on the role of a breadwinner in certain groups of society. ideology is largely responsible for these inequalities and women will continue to be treated differently to men as a result. This is evidenced in both Germany and France regardless of the fact that their social policy strategies are different and demonstrates how ideology will continue to dominate modern-day society. Thus, women in Germany are treated far less favourably than the women in France, yet both countries are similar when it comes to gender inequality. An example of this can be seen in relation to the gender pay gaps which are far-flung amongst both nation states. Nevertheless, disrespect the fact that gender inequality is likely to persist regardless of what policies are implemented, it is discernible that improvements can sure as shooting be made. Further support should be provided to women in Germany, whilst the gender pay gap should be cut down in France. This is unlikely to provide complete equality because, as recognised by the functionalist and path dependency forges, the traditional arrangement of gender roles will continue influence society.\r\nReferences \r\nAlexander, A. C. and Welzel, C. (2014) Ã¢â¬Ë cardinal Theories Tested on four Different Aspects of Gender EqualityÃ¢â¬â¢ Empowering Women, [Online] in stock(predicate): http://www.democracy.uci.edu/files/democracy/docs/conferences/grad/alexander.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nBenson, H. (2013) Ã¢â¬ËWhat is the Divorce sum upÃ¢â¬â¢, The Marriage Foundation, [Online] gettable: http://www.marriagefoundation.org.uk/Shared/Uploads/Products/5357_MF%20-%20What%20is%20the%20divorce%20rate%20-%20060213.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nBjornskov, C. Dreher, A. Justina, A. V. and Fischer, A. V. (2007) Ã¢â¬Ë south southeast/EFI Working Paper serial in Economics and FinanceÃ¢â¬â¢ none657.\r\nBrown, S. E., Esbensen, F., and Geis, G., (2010). Cri minology: Explaining crime in Context. 7th Edition, London: Elsevier.\r\nCleiss. (2013) Ã¢â¬ËFamily BenefitsÃ¢â¬â¢ The French accessible Security System, [Online] getable: http://www.cleiss.fr/docs/regimes/regime_france/an_4.html [02 April 2014].\r\nCraven, Z, Clearinghouse, Ã¢â¬Ë forgiving Rights and domestic ViolenceÃ¢â¬â¢ Australian Domestic & Family Violence, [Online] Available: http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/human_rights.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nCurra, J., (2000). The Relativity of Crime. potassium Oaks, CA. Sage.\r\nDavis, N. J. and Robinson, V. R. (1991) Ã¢â¬Ë handsÃ¢â¬â¢s and WomenÃ¢â¬â¢s brain of Gender dissimilitude: Austria, West Germany, slap-up Britain and the unite StatesÃ¢â¬â¢ American Sociological recapitulation, garishness 56, No. 1.\r\nDel Boca, D. Pasqua, S. and Pronzato, C. (2008) Ã¢â¬ËMarket Work and maternity Decisions in ContextsÃ¢â¬â¢ Discussion Paper Series, IZA DP No 3303, [Online], Available: http://ftp.iza.org/ dp3303.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nEagleton, T. (1991) political orientation: An Introduction, London: Verso.\r\nEuropean Commission. (2012) Ã¢â¬ËWomen on Boards: Commission Proposes 40% documentalÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: http://ec.europa.eu/ judge/ juvenilesroom/gender-equality/news/121114_en.htm [02 April 2014].\r\nGiddens, A. and Griffiths, S. (2006) Sociology, cordial Science, Polity.\r\nGirling, J. (2002) France: governmental and hearty Change, Routledge, semipolitical Science.\r\nEuropean Commission. (2012) Ã¢â¬ËStatisticsÃ¢â¬â¢ European Union, [Online], Available: http://europa.eu/ big/statistics/index_en.htm [02 April 2014].\r\nEuropean Commission. (2013) Ã¢â¬ËTackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European UnionÃ¢â¬â¢ Justice, [Online] Available: http://ec.europa.eu/ nicety/gender-equality/files/gender_pay_gap/gpg_brochure_2013_final_en.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nEuropean Union. (2014) France: Significant congest for Women and luxuriously Monetary Benefits, [Onli ne], Available: [03 April 2014].\r\nFraser, N. (1994) Ã¢â¬ËAfter the Family absorbÃ¢â¬â¢ Political Theory, masses 22, No. 4.\r\nFoghlam Alba. (2012) Ã¢â¬ËWomens Rights and SuffragettesÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: [05 April 2014].\r\nGeorge, V., and Wilding, P., (1985). Ideology and social Welfare. Routledge, 2nd Edition.\r\nHerring, J., (2007). Family Law, Pearson Education, tertiary Edition.\r\nKania, R. E, (1988). Conservative Ideology in Criminology and pitiful Justice. American daybook of Criminal Justice. vividness 13, Number 1.\r\nMargolis, S. E. (1996) Ã¢â¬ËPath DependenceÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: http://wwwpub.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/palgrave/palpd.html [07 April 2014].\r\nMeer, S. (2013) Ã¢â¬ËStruggles for Gender Equality: Reflections on the place of men and menÃ¢â¬â¢s establishmentsÃ¢â¬â¢, broadcast Debate, Online] Available: http://www.osisa.org/sites/default/files/sup_files/open_debate_2_-_reflections_on_the_place_of_men_and_mens_organisations_ in_the_struggle_for_gender_equality.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nMill, J. S. and Okin, S. M. (1988) The homage of Women, Hackett publish Co.\r\nMNT. (2010) Ã¢â¬ËGender Inequality Persists in France Despite Family-Focused BenefitsÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/204545.php [03 April 2014].\r\nOECD. (2007) Ã¢â¬ËBabies and Bosses Ã¢â¬ reconciling Work and Family animationÃ¢â¬â¢ A discount of Findings for OECD Countries.\r\nOECD. (2008) Ã¢â¬ËGender and sustainable fosteringÃ¢â¬â¢ exploit the Economic, hearty and environmental Role of Women.\r\nPascall, G. (2000) Gender and Social Policy: Comparing Welfare States in aboriginal and Eastern Europe and the former Societ UnionÃ¢â¬â¢ Journal of European Social Policy, rule book 10, Number 3.\r\nPeters, D. (2001) Ã¢â¬ËBreadwinners, Homemakers and Beasts of excite: A Gender Perspective on Transport and MobilityÃ¢â¬â¢ play for City and regional Planning, Sustainable Development Intern ational, 93-100.\r\nRadacic, I. (2008) Ã¢â¬ËCritical Review of decree: An nonchalant Series: Gender Equality Jurisprudence of the European mash of tender-hearted RightsÃ¢â¬â¢, European Journal of International Law, trouble 4, EJIL 2008 19 (841).\r\nRodgers, B. N. (2009) Ã¢â¬ËFamily Policy in FranceÃ¢â¬â¢ Journal of Social Policy, Volume 4, make out 2.\r\nSaggers, S. Dodd, J. and Wildy, H. (2009) Ã¢â¬ËConstructing the Ã¢â¬ËidealÃ¢â¬â¢ family for family-centred practice: challenges for deliveryÃ¢â¬â¢ Disability and Society, Volume 24, Issue 2.\r\nSeeleib, M. K. (2007) Ã¢â¬ËInnovative ways of coping with old and new challenges: Enterprises as actors of family policyÃ¢â¬â¢, Family Policies in Britain and Germany, [Online] Available: http://www.socialpolicy.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/10108/Family_Policy_in_Britain_and_Germany_Midpoint_Conference171107.pdf [02 April 2014].\r\nSkocpol, T. (1992) Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins in S ocial Policy in the United States, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.\r\nStanford. (2004) Ã¢â¬ËFunctionalismÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/functionalism/ [07 April 2014].\r\nSudha, D. K. (2000) Gender Roles, New Delhi: APH Publishing.\r\nWILPF International. (2014) Ã¢â¬Ë racial discrimination and Gender Inequality in GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢ calmness & Freedom, [Online] Available: http://www.wilpfinternational.org/racism-and-gender-inequality-in-germany/ [02 April 2014].\r\nGive a comparative, cross-national business relationship of social policy in the flying domain of a function of gender equality and family policies.\r\nIntroduction\r\nSocial policy is the term that is used to describe the dissimilar principles, guidelines, legislative provisions and activities that impact human welfare. Social policy has thus been defined as an analysis of societies responses to social need (Lewis, 2013: 1) and has been said to focus on certain aspects of the economy that are come to with basic human needs. Nevertheless, different societies have developed different ways to sate social policy needs. Whilst some rely primarily upon ideological beliefs within family institutions, others rely on the actions of individuals and governmental activities (Lewis, 2013: 1). Ideology plays an important part in social policy as it is the belief that individuals should behave in a way that is consistent with the goals and expectations of the most dominant in society. There are many different views and opinions that exist in respect of ideology (Kania, 1988: 1), yet it has been considered passing discriminatory as it only Ã¢â¬Å"serves the interests of one segment of a society more than all other segmentsÃ¢â¬Â (Curra, 2000: 6). One particular group of muckle therefore benefit more than other groups, which is the case when it comes to gender equality and family policies. (Brown et al; 2010: 9). The nuclear family, which is the traditional fam ily structure that consists of two parents and children, is still being considered the ideal in many cultural, family and social settings. This is so patronage the fact that Ã¢â¬Å" modern-day families now comprise a respective(a) range of different family and so-called non family typesÃ¢â¬Â (Saggers and Sims, 2009: 173). Although ideals are necessary in helping people to identify right from wrong, too much reliance should not be move on ideology as this will otherwise result in inequality. A evidentiary amount of the gender bias that currently exists has stemmed from ideology (Bjornskov et al, 2007). This is exceedingly dangerous and demonstrates how important gender regimes (as policy logics) in welfare states are in integral to equality. For example, in domestic violence cases, women are treated unfavourably on the basis that it was previously deemed acceptable for a man to beat his wife (Brown et al, 2010). This has produced many problems over the years and is still an on- going mention for many countries, which will be identified in this study (Cleiss, 2013). Thus, a comparative, cross-national depend of social policy in the field of gender equality and family policies will be considered. This will be done by comparing social policy in Germany and France and demonstrating whether gender equality is attainable.\r\nGender Equality and Family Policy in Germany and France\r\nThe 1970Ã¢â¬â¢s new social feminist movement was the first metre gender inequality was brought to the publicÃ¢â¬â¢s attention as domestic violence was previously considered Ã¢â¬Å"part of the rough and tumble of marital lifeÃ¢â¬Â (Herring: 2007; p. 262). This gender bias not only happened in the context of domestic violence notwithstanding it was also fit a natural part of everyday life. Males were considered to be breadwinners, whilst females were the homemakers. Because females were considered whole dependent on the male breadwinner, a lack of financial and support exis ted for women and there was a dire need for social policy changes to be implemented in order to reduce the gender inequality women were being subjected to (Curra, 2000). Feminists believed that this gender inequality was the result of ideology and that gender equality should baffle a vital part of social policy crosswise all nation states (George and Wilding: 1985; p. 122). Feminism is prevalent within different jurisdictions and has been considered a Ã¢â¬Å"diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies and aims to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexualityÃ¢â¬Â (EKU, 2012: 1). FeministsÃ¢â¬â¢ believe that individuals cannot achieve complete freedom so long as inequality continues to persist and that humanity is therefore unattainable. Regardless of this, the gender inequality that exists within family structures is still being recognised as a globose issue and is prevalent both in Germany and France. This is partly due to the cultural practices of these societies as cultural relativism is still being used to condone such inequality (Craven, 2005: 3). In addition, as put by Fraser; Ã¢â¬Å"existing welfare states are premised on assumptions about gender that increasingly out of phase with many peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives and self-understandingsÃ¢â¬Â (1994: 591).\r\nIt seems as though inadequate social protection is being provided to women in both countries, although FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s social policy regime does appear more favourable to women than GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s. This is evidenced by the fact that Germany holds a strong druthers for the typical nuclear family ideal and continues to view males as breadwinners and females as homemakers. It is a uncouth belief throughout Germany that women should not work and that they should instead be stay at home mums. This was identified by Peters when he pointed out that; Ã¢â¬Å"MenÃ¢â¬â¢s stereotypical role in Germany is on e of the income Ã¢â¬ earning breadwinner, who leaves the house for work in the morning and comes back in the eveningÃ¢â¬Â (2001: 93). Because of the stereotypical role that is still being employed in Germany, women end up performing two roles. This is because contemporary women no longer stay at home to look after children and instead choose to become income earners. Furthermore, the pay gap between men and women in Germany continues to widen and has been criticised for being much wider than other EU states, including France. The European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding presented the results from the Eurobarometer on Gender Equality in 2010 and reason out that GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s figures were getting much worse: Ã¢â¬Å"In 2007, the gap was 23 share; in 2006, 22.7 percentÃ¢â¬Â (European Commission, 2012: 1). In a study conducted by Davis and Robinson, however, it was evidenced that much of the gender bias stems from family policies and the ideals that have been created by soc iety. Hence, it was demonstrated that well-educated males are less supportive of reducing gender inequality: Ã¢â¬Å"women with employed husbands are less supportive of efforts to reduce gender inequality than women without a male wage earnerÃ¢â¬Â (1991: 72). This prevents women from go within society and demonstrates how men are capable of stifling the attainment of gender equality in Germany.\r\nIn seam to the male dominated ideologies that exist Germany, social policies in France do actually appear to be more akin to contemporary society. This has been illustrated by Rodgers who noted that; Ã¢â¬Å"France has a more conscious, clearly defined concept of family policy, which finds expression in statutory and voluntary institutions whose primary or even sole purpose is to promote the welfare of the familyÃ¢â¬Â (2009: 113). Both parents of the nuclear family are also entitled to various statutory benefits as of right, which signifies how gender equality is better attained in Fra nce than it is in Germany (Rogers, 2009: 113). France has a significant amount of support for women and has had an extensive policy in favour of families for a very long time. A wide range of childcare operate are provided in France as well as an allowance system that is deemed highly generous (European Union, 2014: 1). Such support is mean to encourage and assist parents in finding a work life balance and is clearly working given that France has high fertility and employments rates of women with children compared to the rest of the EUÃ¢â¬â¢s extremity states (European Commission, 2014: 1). It has been said that the high fertility rates in France largely result from the consistent family policy in France as well as the best employment prospects provided to women (Del Boca, 2008: 2). One of the key characteristics of FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s family policy is the monetary benefits, also cognize as family allowance. The monetary benefits that are provided to families under this system i nclude child benefit, flat-rate allowance, family income accessary, family support allowance, birth/adoption grant, basic allowance, supplement for free choice of working time and free choice of childcare, education allowance, back-to-school allowance, day-after-day parental attendance allowance, family housing allowance and moving allowance (Cleiss, 2013: 1).\r\nIn view of the support women are provided with in France, it seems as though GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s social policies on gender equality should be strengthened. This is especially so in the labour food market place where this appears to be amongst the worst of all EU member states. Therefore, not only do women in Germany receive significantly lower pay packets to men but they also receive a lack of support from the government (Curra, 2000). There a widespread misconception in Germany that if family friendly policies are implemented to assist working women, this will lead to them having fewer children, which will decrease the p opulation overall (Giddins and Griffiths, 2006). However, it has been evidenced that Ã¢â¬Å"countries with policies that facilitate female employment are those with the highest fertility ratesÃ¢â¬Â (OECD, 2008: 15). This resultantly increases the future supply of workers, which inevitably leads to uphold growth (OECD, 2007: 7). Furthermore, the practices being employed in France appear to discredit the view that the population will be decreased if kick upstairs support is provided to women, as this has not happened here and the fertility rates in Germany are low as a result of the lack of support for working mothers. This is due to the fact that women in Germany are more likely to postpone childbearing in order to enter the workforce, which stifles economic growth in the long term (Hering, 2007). Women are thus said to be Ã¢â¬Å"veneer ruggedies to reconcile family, domestic workload and paid workÃ¢â¬Â (WILPF International, 2013: 1). It has been said that the German governmen t is working on this issue at present and has made great attempts to reinforce child daily care (Fraser, 1994), yet it is arguable whether this is proving effective given the cultural relativism that Germany is submersed with. The generosity of France is illustrative of the support that is given to contemporary families and demonstrates how FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s social family policies are workable in attaining gender equality. Not all agree with this, however, and it has instead been argued that; Ã¢â¬Å"although French women receive paid, four-month maternity leaves; tax breaks for having more children; and other family-friendly government subsidies, their country lags behind many other nations in gender equalityÃ¢â¬Â (MNT, 2010: 1). This, it has been said, is largely because of outmoded attitudes about the role of women in society (Girling, 2002: 126). Women continue to earn less than men; they are still being viewed as homemakers and also hold few positions of power European Commissio n, 2013: 10). This is also the case for those women that remain childless (Milj and Okin, 1988), which suggests that although France provides better support to women, gender inequality still persists. Accordingly, women continue to be treated differently to men regardless of what policies are put into practice. It is questionable whether gender equality can ever be fully attained given the attempts that have been made to do so over the years. EU law has made significant attempts to ensure men and women receive equal pay for equal work, though it has been difficult for this to be accomplished. Article 141 of the Treaty of capital of The Netherlands (which amended Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome), obliges member states to ensure that men and women always receive equal pay for equal work, yet it is often difficult to demonstrate that this is not being achieved. This is because the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that, on the balance of probabilities, their comparator is d oing work of equal value to theirs or like work, which is considerably difficult (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2010, p. 1). It is therefore clear from these findings that whilst France does provide greater support to women than Germany does, gender inequalities still exist. FranceÃ¢â¬â¢s social policies thereby need to be find so that better equality is being attained. The first step would be to close the gender pay gap, yet it frame to be seen whether this would achieve complete equality as the traditional family clay sculpture will remain prevalent.\r\nFunctionalism and path dependency to gender equality and family policies\r\nFunctionalistÃ¢â¬â¢s are of the view that an individualsÃ¢â¬â¢ mental state is obdurate by the role in which they have been provided with in society. FunctionalistÃ¢â¬â¢s therefore view gender inequality as being a product of traditional societal ideologies (Saggers et al, 2009). This is reflected by the inequality that currently exists within Germany and France. Hence, the traditional nuclear family is still being given due consideration despite the fact that modern family structures are widely diverse. Because individuals have always been taught what the traditional roles of men and women are, individuals tend to conform to such requirements. This is still happening today, whether consciously or not, and is one of the main reasons why gender equality is difficult to attain. Consequently, whilst women are provided with better support in France than they are in Germany, many of the underlying inequalities women are subjected to remain. This is because societal attitudes towards men and women have remained the same, regardless as to what social policies have been implemented, as is also the case in Germany. Hence, it is apparent that whilst gender roles in both societies have changed substantially, traditional arrangement remains in force (Giddens and Griffiths, 2006: 467). Social policy in France has advanced signi ficantly over the years and is very supportive of women, yet gender inequality is still prevalent because of the traditional arrangement that remains in force. This is also the case in Germany despite the fact that less support is provided to women as some attempts to close the pay gap have been made, yet it seems unthinkable for gender equality to be obtained.\r\nPath dependency theoretically explains how past decisions influence future ones, regardless as to whether the circumstances are still relevant. It is therefore clear from this theory that history is an important part of the future and shapes the way individuals behave. This theory is reflective of the gender equality and family policy approach that is being espouse in Germany and France. This is because diachronic viewpoints are being maintained regardless of the fact that the nuclear family is no longer considered the Ã¢â¬ËnormÃ¢â¬â¢ in contemporary society. As identified by Skocpol; Ã¢â¬Å"the development trends o f social modernization may face legacies of path dependent cultural and institutional organisationÃ¢â¬Â (1992: 8). This affects the advancement of gender equality and restricts the ability to improve the lives of women. Because the emergence of social policy is determined by past influences, the typical family ideal is likely to remain instilled in society. This prevents the modernisation of social policy, which explains why the traditional family model continues to subsist within social and family policy. Furthermore, as noted by Alexander and Welzel; Ã¢â¬Å"path dependent processes with respect to womenÃ¢â¬â¢s suffrage policy may affect the potential to increase gender equality in particular societiesÃ¢â¬Â (2014: 9). This is why women continue to be paid lower than men in Germany and France regardless of the current changes that are being made to achieve equality. This occurs because of the historical gender inequality practices that were being employed because as was pointe d out; Ã¢â¬Å"because of the path dependence of the unfolding human life, gender inequality in the early eighties might equally affect todayÃ¢â¬â¢s opportunities, choices and aspiration levelsÃ¢â¬Â (Bjornskov et al; 2007: 2). Past discrimination thereby affects the way women are viewed in society today and will continue to have an impact in the future.\r\nGender equality is still one of the main fundamental principles the EU continually strives for (Article 14 of the European UnionÃ¢â¬â¢s Convention on Human Rights), yet despite the various policies that have been adopted women are still being treated unfavourably to men. This was recognised by Radacic who argued that; Ã¢â¬Å"notwithstanding these pronouncements, inequality of women in the member states of the Council of Europe persistsÃ¢â¬Â (Radacic, 2008: 841). The EU has therefore been largely impotent in challenging gender discrimination and achieving gender equality and although women and men are becoming more equal ove r the years, Ã¢â¬Å"a principle of perfect equalityÃ¢â¬Â (Mill and Okin, 1988: 1) is still not being established in countries such as Germany and France. Adequate family and childcare policies that allow for gender equality therefore need to be implemented, which could be achieved by employing strategies that; encourage female labour market participation, remove the gender bias ideologies, provide adequate childcare, promote childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s education and well being and allow for limber labour. It is unlikely that much of the gender bias that is currently in place will be removed, though there will certainly be some improvements. Germany should be more supportive of women and France should make nurture attempts to close the pay gap.\r\nConclusion\r\nOverall, traditional ideological practices continue to be adopted in Germany and France when it comes to gender equality and family policy. Because of this, women continue to be treated differently to men. It is questionable whether this can ever be rectified given that gender inequality is viewed as a product of traditional societal ideologies. In Germany, women are given less support than they are in France whose social policies appear to be more akin to contemporary society. In spite of this, however, gender inequality is still prevalent throughout France. This is evidenced by the large gender pay gap and the fact that traditional ideologies are still prevalent across all social policy methods. This illustrates that regardless of what social policies welfare states implement, gender inequality will still persist. Improvements to social policy would still benefit the economy, nonetheless, and would develop gender equality further. In Germany, there is a pressing need for greater support to be provided to women as well as reducing the gender pay gap, whereas in France the main focus is on the latter. It is indistinct that complete equality would be achieved in light of the fact that the traditional family mo del remains intact, yet vast improvements could certainly be made. This is supported by the views of functionalists who believe that the traditional arrangement of gender roles remain intact despite the fact that these roles have significantly changed in modern societies. Furthermore, because past decisions influence future decisions, as recognised by the path dependency model, the nuclear family structure will always have a place in contemporary society.\r\nReferences \r\nAlexander, A. C. and Welzel, C. 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(2012) Ã¢â¬ËStatisticsÃ¢â¬â¢ European Union, [Online], Available: http://europa.eu/epic/statistics/index_en.htm [28 March 2014].\r\nEuropean Commission. (2013) Ã¢â¬ËTackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European UnionÃ¢â¬â¢ Justice, [Online] Available: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/gender_pay_gap/gpg_brochure_2013_final_en.pdf [29 March 2014].\r\nEuropean Union. (2014) France: Significant Support for Women and High Monetary Benefits, [Online], Available: http://europa.eu/epic/countries/france/index_en.htm [28 March 2014].\r\nFraser, N. (1994) Ã¢â¬ËAfter the Family WageÃ¢â¬â¢ Political Theory, Volume 22, No. 4.\r\nGeorge, V., and Wilding, P., (1985). Ideology and Social Welfare. Routledge, 2n d Edition.\r\nHerring, J., (2007). Family Law, Pearson Education, 3rd Edition.\r\nKania, R. E, (1988). Conservative Ideology in Criminology and Criminal Justice. American Journal of Criminal Justice. Volume 13, Number 1.\r\nLewis, D. (2013) Ã¢â¬Ë grateful to the DepartmentÃ¢â¬â¢ LSE Social Policy, [Online] Available: www.lse.ac.uk/socialPolicy/aboutUs/introduction.aspx [06 April 2014].\r\nMill, J. S. and Okin, S. M. (1988) The Subjection of Women, Hackett Publishing Co.\r\nMNT. (2010) Ã¢â¬ËGender Inequality Persists in France Despite Family-Focused BenefitsÃ¢â¬â¢ [Online] Available: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/204545.php [29 March 2014].\r\nOECD. (2007) Ã¢â¬ËBabies and Bosses Ã¢â¬ Reconciling Work and Family LifeÃ¢â¬â¢ A Synthesis of Findings for OECD Countries.\r\nOECD. (2008) Ã¢â¬ËGender and Sustainable DevelopmentÃ¢â¬â¢ Maximising the Economic, Social and Environmental Role of Women.\r\nPeters, D. (2001) Ã¢â¬ËBreadwinners, Homemakers and Beasts of Burden: A Gender Perspective on Transport and MobilityÃ¢â¬â¢ Institute for City and Regional Planning, Sustainable Development International, 93-100.\r\nRadacic, I. (2008) Ã¢â¬ËCritical Review of Jurisprudence: An Occasional Series: Gender Equality Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human RightsÃ¢â¬â¢, European Journal of International Law, Issue 4, EJIL 2008 19 (841).\r\nRodgers, B. N. (2009) Ã¢â¬ËFamily Policy in FranceÃ¢â¬â¢ Journal of Social Policy, Volume 4, Issue 2.\r\nSkocpol, T. (1992) Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins in Social Policy in the United States, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.\r\nSaggers, S. Dodd, J. and Wildy, H. (2009) Ã¢â¬ËConstructing the Ã¢â¬ËidealÃ¢â¬â¢ family for family-centred practice: challenges for deliveryÃ¢â¬â¢ Disability and Society, Volume 24, Issue 2.\r\nWILPF International. (2014) Ã¢â¬ËRacism and Gender Inequality in GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢ Peace & Freedom, [Online] Available: http://www.wilpfinter national.org/racism-and-gender-inequality-in-germany/ [29 March 2014].\r\nCases \r\nAbdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali v. UK (1985) Series A, No. 94 at para 78\r\nLeyla Sahin v. Turkey [GC] Reports 2005 Ã¢â¬ at para. 115\r\n'