Policies to promote the expansion of part-time work as a means of stimulating more flexible working patterns and to address unemployment have complex effects on gender segregation and equity. On the one hand, the expansion of part-time work may undercut the existing labour standards established for full-time contracts. On the other hand, a diversification of working-time offers the potential to modernise the male-biased model of labour market behaviour, making it into one which accommodates workers' domestic responsibilities and thus provides more scope for women to gain an equal footing. The quality of part-time work which develops is the key issue; if it is a marginalised form of employment which is inferior to full-time work, then part-time work may reinforce gender divisions. Alternatively, if it develops as a good quality alternative to full-time employment, then it may help to reduce sex inequality. 1