An issue that interferes most of all with womens participation in society, is the conciliation between personal life, working life and family life. This is why the Municipality of Bologna started the Briefcase project, firstly to assess its own policies and secondly to establish a transnational consultation on the subject among cities in Europe. The projects central question is how childcare services can enhance conciliation at the local level.
This publication reports on the results of the Briefcase project. It includes an analysis of the needs of around 1000 young parents in six cities (DÃ¼sseldorf, Chemnitz, Amaroussion, Craiova, Plovdiv and Bologna) regarding their use of childcare services and their strategies for balancing work and family life. In addition, these municipalities monitored local policies, initiated pilot actions and identified good practices.
European cities face an innovative task. They must respond, through their policies and everyday work, to a greater participation of women in the labour market, and to the need to boost fertility rates.
The Briefcase project shifts attention from the national to the local level. It places cities at the heart of an integrated system of care, education and recreation in order to optimize work-life balance policies.