Changing roles of religiosity and patriarchy in women's employment in different religions in Europe between 2004 and 2016




women's employment, religious affiliation, religiosity, gender attitudes, Europe


Objective: This paper seeks to understand the changing roles of religiosity and gender attitudes in the employment of women in Europe between 2004 and 2016.

Background: Religiosity and gender traditionalism are both considered to decrease the likelihood of women’s employment. This study argues that this relationship needs to be decoupled, as religiosity and gender traditionalism have different underlying mechanisms.

Method: We analysed rounds 2 (2004), 4 (2008), 8 (2010), and 10 (2016) of the European Social Survey (ESS), which include, among other data, information on employment, religious affiliation, religiosity, and gender role attitudes in 16 countries (N=39,233).

Results: We show that taking religiosity into account further increases the already increased likelihood of employment for Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish women compared to women with no religion. We also find, however, that religiosity decreases the employment gap between Muslim and Orthodox women on the one hand and secular women on the other. Including gender role attitudes in the model only marginally explains the employment gap.

Conclusion: Our findings support the idea that the mechanisms that underlie the relationships religiosity and traditional gender role attitudes have with women's employment differ. Over time, the likelihood of employment increases for women of all religions, except for Muslim women, among whom it drops.




How to Cite

Guveli, A., & Spierings, N. (2021). Changing roles of religiosity and patriarchy in women’s employment in different religions in Europe between 2004 and 2016. Journal of Family Research, 33(2), 405–438.