The access to paid work is now an intricate part of the hardcore feminist research agenda, mainly from two different perspectives: either from a moral stand that considers it a good thing for women - a construction that relies on the concept of subtle revolution (meaning that private institutions from within the family change at a slowly but steady pace towards empowering women as a result of their involvement on the labor market) - or from a different perspective, that is mainly concerned with the tensions between the performance of traditional and patriarchal roles and those associated with the actual status of women playing an active part on the labor market, the tensions between career and family life, and of the double burden of women. The main research question of my paper is: How do women perceive their involvement on the labor market and how does this specific form of participation is reflected in their everyday life? My results show the link between paid work and women’s empowerment, and also the way in which this empowerment is (re-)interpreted according to the patriarchal norms (which, in their turn, are deeply internalized by the subjects). Thus, participation in the labor market (involving remuneration) is valued both from the view of income providing and economic independence, but especially for the potential of generating a particular framework in which women could manifest themselves autonomously as individuals, professionals and citizens, directly contributing to the social welfare, not only to that of their own family. These women are simultaneously doing the housework and caring labors due to the gender roles, therefore their double labor day being assumed as a manifestation of their independence.
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