”Local Variation in Gendered Family Policy Use: Evidence of Local Gender Contracts?” är skriven av Karen Haandrikman, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, Ann-Zofie Duvander, Sociologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, och Natasha Webster, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet. Artikeln är publicerad i Spatial Demography.


A central and unique part of Sweden’s family policy programme is care leave that working parents can use when children are sick and cannot attend (pre)school. The gender-equal policy entails that parents may divide the leave as they see fit. However, mothers and fathers do not share care leave equally and care leave patterns may vary geographically. The aim of this paper is to examine the interaction between gendered care leave and geographical context using the theory of gender contracts. We ask how geographical variation in fathers’ share of care leave varies by scale, and how both individual factors and geographical determinants, representing local gender contracts, are associated with fathers’ share of care leave. Distinctive from previous work, we use geocoded full-population register data and individualized neighbourhoods at multiple scales in order to be able to better measure contextual effects on care leave use. We find substantial spatial variation in fathers’ share of care leave, with clustering depending on scale level. Using the nearest 200 fathers with young children, a factor analysis summarizes local gender contracts into three factors labelled as elite, marginalization and private sector. Results show that especially living in local gender contract areas identified as “marginalized” positively affects fathers’ share of care leave. Living in the most segregated neighbourhoods has substantial effects on fathers’ share of care leave, but overall, neighbourhood effects are moderate. A gender contract perspective shows negotiations resulting from locally clustered gendered norms and relative resources between partners influence who stays home with sick children.