Gender Roles in Economics

Men have traditionally played the role of breadwinner, and have also filled most of the more physically demanding jobs, as well as the more prestigious ones. Men and women have had equal rights since the abolition of the old Austrian legal code in 1948 (Nash, 2002), but the so-called "emancipation of women" by the Communists often meant in practice merely that women had to work outside the home in addition to continuing in their traditional roles as housewives and mothers. Generous maternity leave benefits and guaranteed jobs under Communism often acted to maintain this division of labor, as many women would stay home full time from the birth of their first child until their youngest child entered school. Economic pressures have now changed; with the loss of guaranteed jobs, many women now feel forced to choose between career advancement and having children (Nash, 2003). This is not a problem for men, who typically have minimal childcare responsibilities.

An effect of Communist wage equalization was that some professions typically dominated by men in Western countries were instead dominated by women, and were accorded less prestige. A majority of pediatricians, gynecologists, and other primary care physicians in Czechoslovakia were female, and a general physician is often assumed to be female. Nurses (zdravotní sestry) are almost exclusively female. The majority of teachers in elementary and secondary schools are female, while the majority of teachers at the university level are male.

Men and women have equal rights in inheriting property. Under Czech law, all children are entitled to a roughly equal inheritance. Both sexes participate in business and the professions, and the percentage of women in management positions is slowly approaching parity.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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