Between tradition and modernization: attitudes to women’s employment and gender roles in croatia
No 3:2006 Between tradition and modernization: attitudes to women’s employment and gender roles in Croatia By Marija Brajdić Vuković, Institute for Social Research Zagreb Gunn Birkelund, University of Oslo and University of Oxford Aleksandar Štulhofer, University of Zagreb
Despite the fact that state socialism promoted the employment of women and, at least formally, gender equality as means of societal modernization, the prevailing picture of the South-Eastern European region is the one of rather traditional, patriarchic societies. The post-communist transition was characterized by high social costs and political attempts at re-traditionalization, particularly through the increasingly public role of religion. At the same time the societies were under more universal influence of modernity processes of individualization and permissiveness.
Thus, it is difficult to asses in which direction, toward modernity or traditionalism, these societies are heading. In this paper we analyze the attitudes toward gender roles and women’s employment in Croatia. Using the SEESSP dataset (2003) we test several hypotheses linking respondents’ attitudes with their socio-economic characteristics as well as their upbringing. Our analyses have implications for the gender policy in transitional economies burdened by consistently high unemployment rates, particularly among women, and frequent, politically motivated, attempts at re-traditionalization.