Why less Italian women work

The difficulties involved in reconciling work and family when there are children are among the leading causes of the low female employment rate in Italy, research published by the country's central bank finds.

Data from the 2002 Italian Birth Sample Survey show that about 20% of mothers who were working before childbirth, leave the work force completely one and a half years after giving birth.

Compared with other European countries, the Italian labour market stands out for the low level of

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