The question of why women with partners receiving unemployment allowances have such low employment rates is addressed here with analysis of information from three data sources. These provide perspectives on different aspects of the question and also reflect an increasing intensity of focus. The first is the analysis of labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics CABS) on unemployed men and their partners. The second examines a longitudinal dataset including couples where the man is receiving an unemployment allowance, which was constructed from DSS administrative data. The third source of information is an exploratory survey undertaken specifically for this study, involving personal interviews with 75 women whose partners were, or had recently been, receiving unemployment allowance.