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Work-family conflict and coping strategies of employed women in a public institution

Gül, Gamze
This study aims to examine work family conflict experienced by employed mothers, and coping strategies developed by them. This study centers on gender as explanatory variable and it is set within the framework of Feminist Standpoint Theory to reflect women’s experience as the starting point. The fieldwork of the study is based on accounts of depth interviews from 15 working mothers employed in a public institution in Ankara. By conducting this method, this study reveals employed women’s feelings and routines in a detailed way. This study also analyses employed women’s work-family conflict admitting socially and culturally constructed gender role ideology as a base. This study sets forth antecedents of work-family conflict as gendered division of labor at home, unavailable and inaccessible public facilities for childcare, working place conditions such as inflexible long working hours and workload and attitudes of colleagues, as well as employers/managers. Adopted coping strategies are the product of gender-oriented relations and reinforce gender inequality between couples. This study also focuses on emotional distress and intense feeling of guilt by employed women as a result of work-family conflict. Lastly, policy recommendations are submitted in order to reduce work family conflict and to establish women-friendly environments.