Print version ISSN 0213-9111
SANTOLARIA, Encarna; FERNANDEZ, Alberto and DAPONTE, Antonio. The productive sector. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.1, pp. 24-30. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112004000700006.
In the last 25 years, the production sector in Spain has undergone important changes. Among these changes, the important growth of the services sector at the expense of the primary sector, the increasing flexibility of the labour market, and the rise in the female workforce could be considered as the most relevant ones. Spanish women have higher rates of unemployment, temporary jobs and part time contracts than Spanish men. Moreover, job access and work conditions are highly related to gender and social class. Because women are forced to compensate for the scarcity of social services for caring for young children and for dependent elderly, they become informal and socially unrecognised caregivers, preventing them from getting or holding a job, and significantly limiting their opportunities for professional development. These social conditions are closely related with the fact that work conditions for women involve higher temporality rates and shorter contracts than those of men, given the sectors and jobs in which they tend to work (due to segregation). Similarly, workers of the less privileged social classes have poorer work conditions. Thus, women of the lower income class are mainly suffering the worst job contracts and the poorest work conditions. More social services are needed to make it possible to attend to family needs and still be able to access and maintain a job contract. Policies tending to conciliate labour and family life are indispensable and should incorporate measures to equally distribute the house keeping activities between women and men.
Keywords : Social class; Gender; Economic activity; Working conditions; Industrial relations; Job and family demands.