Public maternalism in the Czech Republic and Hungary: work-family policies in two post-socialist welfare states

  • KAMPICHLER Martine
  • KISPÉTER Erika
This article compares the post-1989 development of work-family policies aimed at mothers of young children in two Visegrad countries, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The comparison draws on the conceptual framework of ‘maternalism’ and expands it by focusing on the similarities and differences between two welfare states which provide generous public support to the maternal care of young children; it also incorporates an analysis of policy and political documents. The paper argues that in the Czech Republic, public support is given exclusively to the maternal care of children under the age of three, while the Hungarian system offers basic public support to day care services as well. The discursive analysis has revealed the same pattern: Czech documents focus entirely on maternal care, though mothers are subsumed under the ‘family’, while Hungarian texts contain a wider range of discourses about childcare. Key words post socialism; welfare states, work-family policies, maternalism