Excerpt from abstract
This chapter deals with the organisation of care work by Polish parents. Using the data from in-depth interviews and survey data, I demonstrate cultural norms about care that prevails in Polish society. Strong gendered norms and instruments of family policy shape different opportunity structures for men and women. I focus on how parental leaves are used and perceived by Polish parents. I argue that they are still seen primarily as women’s right. I analyse the reasoning lying behind such thinking, but also show the experiences of parents who decided to share the leave. Then I proceed to the organisation of care in the context of so-called care gap. The Polish system of parental leaves is incompatible with the system of institutional care for children. Consequently, in the period between the end of paid leave and the time when a child can go to a kindergarten parents have to develop different strategies how to provide care for their children. I show how these strategies differ in the context of economic inequalities, as well as what consequences care gap has on gender inequalities. Finally, the chapter finishes with the analysis of how care work is perceived by parents.