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Women and New LabourEngendering politics and policy?$
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Claire Annesley, Francesca Gains, and Kirstein Rummery

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348289

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348289.001.0001

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New Labour: family policy and gender

New Labour: family policy and gender

Chapter:
(p.155) Eight New Labour: family policy and gender
Source:
Women and New Labour
Author(s):

Clarke Karen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861348289.003.0008

This chapter explores the coherence of New Labour's approach to the family and the implications for gender roles of its policies. It describes the family policy in Britain before 1997, and the policies introduced by the New Labour governments. Their effects on gender divisions in paid work and unpaid care, and their differential impact on partnered and lone mothers, and on women of different social classes, are elaborated. The chapter then raises some questions about the overall coherence of these policies and identifies a number of different notions of parental responsibility. New Labour's policies on parenting involve a new definition of the relative responsibilities of the state and of parents. Men's roles in one- and two-parent families have been much less strongly targeted by the policies introduced, and their role in providing care for children remains a relatively peripheral one.

Keywords:   New Labour, family policy, gender, Britain, paid work, unpaid care, parental responsibility, children

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