In this book, the author aurgues that while part-time participation in the labour market is commonly perceived as a solution for women who choose to cope with the ‘double burden’of home-making and paid economic activity, the reality is that such a form of employment, very often, serves as a therapeutic measure. Part-time work combats the isolation felt by many women in full-time domesticity, provides outside stimulation and regains the sense of sef-worth and self-esteem long lost over the years. The solution, however, meets with the problems associated with precarious employment conditions and the peripheral status attributed to the part-time worker.
Camilleri uses a case study to investigate who the part-time employed woman is and the reality behind her choice to enter the labour market on the basis of compressed hours. The book provides disturbing findings relating to the constraints of family responsibilities, the motherhood mandate and gender ideologies which impinge on women’s full participatory role in the labour force. Claims mage in the literature about th e female part-time workforce are compared with the findings of the case study.
The book offers recommendations of labour market policies based on the empowerment of both women and men in a new family-friendly work structure of the future.