The report urges the government to heed its legal duty to assess the impact of policies on gender equality.The apparent neglect of such concerns gives a hollow ring to the championing of western democracy’s commitment to gender equality.First, Jan de Vries’s concept of an ‘industrious revolution’ takes the family unit rather than the individual male as the prime mover in economic change.As a precursor to the industrial revolution, de Vries posits a shift in which the labour of married women was reallocated from household production for home consumption towards more commercially oriented activity.Bennett’s concept of ‘patriarchal equilibrium’ which emphasizes the enduring adaptability of male privilege.Stressing the long-term continuities in the relative status of women to men, as represented by pay differentials, the narrower range of women’s work and the limited value attached to it, Bennett has argued that there was no ‘great divide’ between medieval and modern women.
The most sceptical rejection of any change in women’s productive status (either for better or worse) is Judith M.
A report published by the Fawcett Society in 2013 warned that cuts in the public sector have disproportionately affected women, whereas the sectors identified for investment (business and manufacturing) are male dominated.
The analysis also showed that the gender pay gap in Britain may be increasing for the first time since official records began.
Secondly, and by contrast, another set of claims has focused on the importance of singlewomen’s contribution to the pre-industrial economy.
As a feature of the north-western European marriage pattern (with its late age of marriage and high proportions who never married) an army of singlewomen is credited with ‘girl power’ by Tine de Moor and Jan Luiten van Zanden.
This shift, which according to de Vries took place between 16, was driven by an increased demand for non-durable consumer goods.