Sampling documents

The next step was to choose documents for analysis from the long list of documents collected for the issue histories. For the purpose of comparability, documents selected had to be similar in topic and type.

As part of topical harmonisation issue, areas were further divided into subissues. General gender+ equality policy was divided to (1.1) general gender+ equality legislation and (1.2) general gender+ equality machinery; non-employment was divided to (2.1) tax-benefit policies, (2.2) care work, (2.3) reconciliation of work and family life, and (2.4) gender pay gap and equal treatment in employment; intimate citizenship was (3.1) divided to divorce, marriage and separation, (3.2) sexual orientation discrimination and same-sex partnership, and (3.3) reproduction; gender-based violence was divided to (4.1) domestic violence, (4.2) sexual assault, and (4.3) intersectional violence. Researchers were asked to choose documents for all of the subissues.

Out of the wide variety of policy document genres, four were selected for analysis (1) laws, (2) policy plans, (3) parliamentary debates and (4) civil society texts. These four types of documents differ in the actors producing them (state and non-state) as well as their nature (binding as well as non-binding), and thus offer a complex picture of gender equality policy in each country. Researchers were asked to choose documents from each of the categories.

If there were more documents in a country that fitted the criteria above, researchers were asked to choose the ones that are (1) the most recent; (2) the most comprehensive; (3) the most authoritative; (4) the most debated; (5) have the highest potential impact on gender; (6) contain the greatest policy shift.

Researchers were asked to choose a minimum of 48 documents (4 types of documents, one for each of the 12 subissues) and add additional documents up to 60 if it was needed to cover the variety of debates and voices in the local context. The selection process also involved giving detailed reasons for the particular choices made by the researchers. Altogether 2088 documents were selected for analysis in the 29+1 countries.

Policies for the reconciliation of work and family life in employment

Selected for this sub-issue is the main legislation on reconciliation approved in Italy in the period studied that includes Law 53/2000. The law guarantees new possibilities for parents to use paid parental leave and, more generally, it promotes a new culture of gender roles within and outside the family and aims at reaching a new work-life balance.

The selected government policy or plan is the ‘White book on Welfare’ by the Ministry of Work and Social Policies. This core of this text is the reconciliation of work and family life and the measures proposed by the Ministry.

The parliament text is very important, because it leads to the approval of law n. 53/2000 and very different positions emerge from it.

Law: Law n. 53/2000 ‘Disposizioni per il sostegno della maternità e della paternità, per il diritto alla cura e alla formazione e per il coordinamento dei tempi delle città’ (Provisions for supporting motherhood and fatherhood, for the right on care and on Training Leaves and to coordinate the city times), 08/03/2000, 12 pp., e-text

Policy or plan: Libro bianco sul welfare. Proposte per una società dinamica e solidale (White book on welfare. Suggestions for a dynamic and fair society), Ministry of Work and Social Policies, 02/2003, 42 pp. Selected: Introduction (pp. 4- 6), Reconciliation Measures (p. 19), and the Social Agenda (pp. 33-42). Total: 14 pp., e-text

Parliament Debate: ‘Disposizioni per il sostegno della maternità e della paternità, per il diritto alla cura e alla formazione e per il coordinamento dei tempi delle città’ ‘Regulations to support maternity and paternity, the right to care and training and urban planning’s coordination’, Session n. 548, 3/6/1999, 20 pp., Voices: Elena Emma Cordoni: Ulivo (centre-left coalition); Angelo sartori: Forza Italia (centre-right coalition). Total: 9 pp., e-text

Civil society: Document by Lucia Basso (feminist and trade unionist Cgil) on the implementation of parental leave and parental roles, ‘Tempi di vita e di lavoro: la ‘conciliazione’ possibile’ (Time to live and time to work: the possible ‘conciliation’, 2003, 3 pp., e-text

Extract from document describing sampling decisions (Italy)

The documents describing sampling decisions in each country can be downloaded here.