This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Babies, oui; Boardroom, non

The New York Times recently profiled the status of women in France, the country with Europe's highest birth rate (even if still not too high), but with one of the lowest gender equity scores in the developed world, according to a study by the World Economic Forum:
Eighty-two percent of French women aged 25-49 work, many of them full-time, but 82 percent of parliamentary seats are occupied by men. 
French women earn 26 percent less than men but spend twice as much time on domestic tasks. They have the most babies in Europe, but are also the biggest consumers of anti-depressants.
If we accept this analysis, we are led to the somewhat dismal conclusion that higher than expected fertility in France is associated with a more traditional attitude toward gender roles--not a model that most other countries are likely to want to follow.

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