The analysis carried out in this chapter may be set alongside the literature which analyses the effect of public policy by gender, such as the research conducted since the beginning of the 1990s by the UK Women's Budget Group, 1 or by Budlender et al. (1998) in South Africa and Australia. Himmelweit (1998) discusses how the different employment conditions and working profiles over the life cycle of men and women can affect the impact of the same public policy by gender, and states that ignoring these differences can noticeably reduce the efficacy of the policy itself. After acknowledging the economic relevance of unpaid work, 2 the effects of public policies on its distribution and size need to be evaluated:

If the effect of budgetary policy is to move women's time from unpaid care economy to other sectors of the economy, the full ramifications have to be recognized, planned and budgeted for…. This is not to argue that women's (or men's) labour time should not be transferred between sectors, but that the costs and benefits to society should be looked at overall.

(Himmelweit 1998: 10)