Gender Equality in the 21st Century - Country-Level and Individual-Level Factors Related to Women’s and Men’s Intentions to Contribute to Childcare – A Cross-National Comparison across 49 Countries

Project: Research

Project participants

  • Schuster, Carolin (Project manager, academic)
  • Martiny, Sarah E. (Partner)
  • Schmader, Toni (Partner)
  • Block, Katharina (Partner)
  • Van Laar, Colette (Partner)
  • Meeussen, Loes (Partner)
  • The Arctic University of Norway


The unequal share of unpaid care work between women and men remains a major barrier on the way to gender equality (EIGE, 2019). This project aims to investigate cross-national variation in women's and men’s intention to contribute to childcare in the future. We will examine the relationship between structural, cultural, and psychological variables in a large data set (N = 17,402) from 49
countries, including many that are underrepresented in psychological research. Thereby we will address three research questions. First, we will examine psychological processes by which country-level structural and cultural factors are indirectly related to individual intentions to engage in childcare (e.g., via social norms). Second, we will explore the existence of and potential theoretical explanations for a gender equality paradox effect in the priority of childcare over
careers. Third, we examine hidden inequalities concerning women's compared to men's experience of family-work conflict in highly gender-egalitarian countries. The project, therefore, extends the empirical literature on gender differences in contributions to childcare by testing theory-based assumptions in a sample that includes countries that vary strongly in gender equality (ranking 2nd to 148th).
By examining the relationship between political and structural factors (such as parental leave policies) and individual psychological factors, this research also contributes important insights for developing effective measures to foster gender equality worldwide.

Project relations