ISPUP project to study the impact of motherhood on women's income

The MERIT – MothER Income InequaliTy project, one of the winners of EEA Grants Portugal, aims to create a White Paper that will help researchers and policy makers understand the impact of motherhood on women’s income. This white paper will also contain recommendations to mitigate the effects of motherhood on women’s wages and career paths, with the aim of reducing gender pay gaps.

The project, led by ISPUP researchers Teresa Leão and Joana Amaro, both members of the associated Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health (ITR), coordinated by ISPUP, has the main goal of analysing the impact of motherhood on income, with the help of information from the ISPUP Generation XXI cohort, which has been monitoring around 8600 children and their respective families since 2005.

By collecting data from the mothers and fathers of this cohort, the researchers will estimate the impact that motherhood has had on the women’s wages and career path over the years, comparing it with the influence of fatherhood on the income earned by fathers.

In addition, MERIT researchers will look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women who have been mothers during this period, analysing the impact of the pandemic on working conditions and gender gaps.

With the help of the Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society (PANSOC) – ISPUP’s Norwegian partner in the project – an analysis of existing public policies and legal regimes that dictate family support issues at a national and European level will also be prepared.

The ultimate goal? The elaboration of recommendations that mitigate the impact of motherhood on women’s incomes and career paths, with the aim of reducing gender asymmetries. These recommendations will be materialised in the production of a White Paper, where concrete guidelines will be defined in order to minimise gender asymmetries and promote equality between men and women in terms of income.

The MERIT project – MothER Income InequaliTy will be financed with 100 thousand euros. Its end date is foreseen for the end of 2023.

About the EEA Grants

The MERIT – MothER Income InequaliTy project was one of five winners of the Small Grant Scheme #3 competition, funded by the European Economic Area’s EEA Grants financial mechanism, which supports projects and initiatives in fifteen Member States that aim to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe.

Framed within the Conciliation and Gender Equality Programme, operated by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), the selected projects are aligned with the Portuguese National Strategy for Equality and Non-Discrimination “Portugal + lgual” (2018-2030).

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