Double jeopardy: Gendered social policy for two risky life periods in six welfare state contexts

Anat Herbst-Debby, Noa Achouche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study adopts a cultural gendered perspective to examine policy in two financially risky periods in women's life course: when raising young children and in post-employment in old age, when income is mainly from pensions. Specifically, we look at the intersection of social policy and cultural schemas of motherhood in relation to two policy axes: family policy and old age policy. The analysis is based on a cross-national comparison of social policies in six countries with significantly different welfare state and cultural traditions: Germany, France, Israel, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Data are gleaned from document analysis of care and pension policies and the database of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The policy analysis revealed nuanced differences between countries that are captured through a typology composed of the level of generosity in family policy and the level of generosity in old age policy. The analysis addresses a research lacuna regarding the intersection between gendered cultural schemas and the generosity of socialpolicies and its plausible relation to the genderedness of old-age vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102814
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article benefited from the support of the Impact Center of Study of old age and aging: social and psychological perspectives at Bar-Ilan. We are grateful to our editor, Helene Hogri, for her significant contribution. Finally, we thank the Editor and the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Comparative study
  • Employment pension
  • Family policy
  • Gender equality
  • Gendered cultural schemas
  • Old-age pension


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