China's economic reforms over the past three decades have dramatically changed the mechanisms for allocating goods and labour in both market and non-market spheres. This article examines the social and economic trends that intensify the pressure on the care economy, and on women in particular in playing their dual roles as care givers and income earners in post-reform China. The analysis sheds light on three critical but neglected issues. How does the reform process reshape the institutional arrangements of care for children and elders? How does the changing care economy affect women's choices between paid work and unpaid care responsibilities? And what are the implications of women's work-family conflicts for the well-being of women and their families? The authors call for a gendered approach to both social and labour market policies, with investments in support of social reproduction services so as to ease the pressures on women.
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