Married to the Military: Employment Prospects for Civilian Female Spouses
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The vast majority of research on the impact of military has considered the experiences of service members during and after their service. However, the impact of military lifestyle on civilian spousal employment is a relatively new topic of research. This research study considers the impacts that Canadian military lifestyle has on the employment prospects of civilian female spouses. Conducting semi-structured interviews, my aim is to consider how employment is affected, what impact childcare has on employment and to understand the perceptions that participants have of military support systems available to military families. Theories on the labour force participation of women and tied migration are instrumental in my analysis of the impacts of military lifestyle on women’s employment prospects. I conclude that systemic issues within military lifestyle and the labour force more generally have a negative impact on female spouse’s employment prospects. The impacts of childcare and other household responsibilities have an evidently negative impact on labour force participation as well. Support systems were used by military spouses for more traditional services, possibly reinforcing gendered divisions of labour.