What is the position of women in the Dutch labour market, and why do they often work part-time?
For many years, women have been emancipated in Dutch society. In the past, they were only allowed to take care of the children and the household. Men would oversee money and were the only ones to vote. At the end of the 19th century, feministic movements realized voting rights and the ability for women to go to universities. The second movement was in the ’50s and realized legal capacity for women, and in the following decades, women wanted to develop themselves and not only support the development of husband and children (Is Geschiedenis, z.d.). Nowadays, women are emancipated way more. Household tasks also fall on men now, and an increasing number of women are working in top positions. But what exactly is the position of women in the Dutch labour market, and how come they often work part-time?
Women under 25 years old seem to work slightly more than the men of the same age group. Like all other ages, men work more. The net employment rate is barely over 67 percent amongst women and more than 75 percent amongst men (CBS, 2022). Moreover, of the women that do work, about 60 percent works part-time. Amongst men, this is only 20 percent (OESO, 2019).
One of the reasons many women still work part-time comes from the deep-rooted idea that women should take care of the household and children, and men provide for the family. When couples get children, almost always, the new mothers start spending less time on paid work. And even when the mothers has a better-paid job than the father, women still seem to spend more time on unpaid work. In other countries in Europe, the policy is different. Men get more paternity leave, and childcare is easier accessible. The difference in (part-time) employment is not as big there. In Holland, things are already changing.
Even though the situation is not ideal yet, and the emancipation of women still has a long way to go, the Netherlands is on a good path. Paternity leave is already increasing, and so is the number of women in top positions. Furthermore, there are already more women than men in universities, and gender equality remains a hot topic in society.
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