In western countries women’s social and economic status is clearly different from the past decades even if some evidences show that part of the transformation is not yet complete. There are positive aspects: such as increasing labour market participation and life expectancy, but still some are negative, as the difficult balance between work and family time, paid and unpaid work, motherhood protection, care time pressure for relatives, together with the effects of these unsolved issues on the future of women in the retirement age, that is one new emerging aspect of gender inequalities. Pension levels in the EU are significantly gendered. Various reforms of the pension systems explicitly aim at improving women’s opportunities to build up pension entitlements. At the same time, however, other seemingly gender-neutral reforms generally tend to have the opposite effect. These measures include changes in pension calculation norms and pension composition, increasing the importance of non-public pensions. This article analyses the multiplicity of reasons for gender differentiated pension levels and how patterns of employment and pension disadvantage according to marital and maternal status differ between earlier and later generations of women.
Keywords: Women’s Situation; Motherhood; Old Age; Welfare and Pensions System; Social Inequalities.