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Since the 2008 global economic crisis, issues facing working-class men in Europe and North America have garnered growing attention from politicians, academics and the media. The pressures they face have been credited with uprooting political orthodoxies, raising the profile of fringe and extreme political parties and politicians and even with throwing the future of the European Union itself into uncertainty. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), vulnerable employment is on the rise, reflecting high rates of underemployment, dissatisfied workers and a growing incidence of involuntary part-time contracts.
Receiving less attention and less well understood, the situation facing working women and the ways in which their changing patterns of work, the hardships and disadvantages they face, and their individual and collective response, have a profound potential to reshape the world we live in. This report seeks to explore the challenges and opportunities facing Europe’s working women, particularly those in precarious and low-paid work.