The Superwomen of Modern Time - A case study about gender equality and work-life balance among highly educated mothers living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina





Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences



Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy


Gender equality and women’s rights are current topics worldwide. Women are getting new roles and positions in political life and the labor market, while men participate more in domestic work and childcare. Work-life balance is thereby crucial for both genders. Argentina is a country of European immigrants, and may appear similar to a European country regarding women’s right, especially considering its history of female leaders. On the other hand, Argentina is influenced by a male dominated Latin-American culture with traditional gender roles. In this thesis, qualitative method and semi-structured interviews are used to interview highly educated mothers who are living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It examines their strategies to achieve a healthy work-life balance and their experience of gender equality. Furthermore, it identifies similarities and differences between different age groups. To analyze the findings and draw conclusions, structuration theory and the capability approach provided the guidelines. The findings of this research indicate that the Argentinian society, in general, facilitates fathers in being breadwinners and mothers in taking care of the family and the obligations at home. Nevertheless, the society is moving towards two-income households. Since divorces and single mothers are growing phenomena, many women need paid employment to provide for their family. Several laws and regulations help promote women’s participation in the labor market. However, nowadays the demand for women to have paid employment is stronger than the expectations for men to participate in household activities and childcare. Further, most of the women we interviewed lacked a long-term work contract and thereby losing their rights to social benefits. The most common strategies the women used to combine paid and unpaid obligation were choosing flexible work, help from friends and family, and having paid help at home. Regarding gender equality, women are still often dependent on others, but the findings indicate a significant improvement among the youngest women compared to the oldest.




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