Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Gender equality : dimensions of women's equal citizenship

Publication Date



Can pregnant working women capture the benefits of equal citizenship? Or do the physically effects of pregnancy, combined with the law's general failure to insist that they be accommodated, make that an elusive goal? This chapter takes up those questions by reconsidering pregnancy discrimination law through the lens of social citizenship.

This chapter develops a citizen-based model for evaluating pregnancy discrimination law, offering it as a substitute to the conventional gender equality framework. Because modern law takes a capacity-based approach to defining discrimination, it ultimately fails to promote sufficient integration of women into workplaces and occupations in which the physical effects of pregnancy are most likely to clash with job performance. The chapter concludes by urging greater accommodations for pregnant workers as a means of promoting their equal social citizenship.


This chapter is from Gender equality : dimensions of women's equal citizenship edited by Linda C. McClain and Joanna L. Grossman.