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35% of women still don't have a paid job, new report shows

Tuesday 11 December 2012

The proportion of working women in the Dutch labour market remained unchanged at around 64% in 2010 and 2011, the government’s socio-cultural advisory group SCP says in a new report.

The SCP has been tracking the position of women in the jobs market since 2000, and a steady rise was reported in the early years. Now, however, the figure seems to stuck at around 64%. By contrast, 80% of men have a job.

The SCP says the economic crisis is partly to blame, as many women have lost their jobs. But an increase in the cost of childcare may also have encouraged women to stop working.

On Monday, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher confirmed reports that the number of people using organised childcare has gone down by around 5% since the government reduced subsidies for parents.


The survey also shows that just 52% of women aged 20 to 64 are economically independent – which means they earn more than the basic welfare benefits of around €940. This is because many women have a part-time job. According to OECD figures, two-thirds of Dutch women work fewer than 36 hours a week.

However, while the number of women in work has held steady, the number of men in active employment fell from 82% to 80% over the past two years. Men have been particularly affected by job losses in the building and transport sectors, the SCP said.

The organisation expects it will be at least 10 years before men and women are equally represented in the jobs market.

Earlier stories

Some 60% of women now work
One in three single mums want to work more
Little improvement in the number of female bosses

Your thoughts? Use the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

men and women will never be equally represented in the job market.
women in this country are perfcetly fine with staying home with the children or working part-time even when children are older so they can enjoy time at the spa, various courses whose classes are in the morning or early afternoon and shopping.
It won't change till child-care will be so crazy expensive and husbands are fine with their wives to stay at home.

By joanna | 11 December 2012 9:56 AM

Expect this figure to increase as the child care costs escalate.

I don't think the Dutch misogynistic leaders want women to work. They prefer them to stay at home, baking cookies, tending the kids and playing tennis.

By H. | 11 December 2012 9:57 AM

Wouldn't we expect there to always be more men in the workforce as some women chose to be full time mothers? Or is this way of thinking politically incorrect?

Seems to me that this article words the statistic in a way that it is bad for there to be less working women than men. I thought we fought for gender equality so women would be free to choose, not so that we would tell them that they HAVE to work.

By Hendrik Moor | 11 December 2012 10:33 AM

We just received notification from the tax office that our child care allowance will change from 366€ a month to 46€. So now we have to find an alternative solution for our child because we cannot afford the child care anymore. Because of me working and our income going higher than avarage our son will pay the costs, while children of low income parents with mother staying at home and not working can still enjoy good children care education paid by tax payers like me. This make me so angry!

By Angry mother | 11 December 2012 11:10 AM

Hendrik, good point you have there. However it becomes confusing for me when some women seem to, on one hand, demand and fight for equality (and rightfully so) when this demanding is convenient for them - and then on another day, these same women get an attitude if they are not 'allowed' to serve the coffee and cook and wash up. I have experienced this over and over in Dutch culture and for me it is very confusing. Yes women should be free to choose - but please choose only one! All that attitude stuff is easy to spot as I get older and gets very tiring. Want equality? Grow up, stop playing games and act equal then.

By Z | 11 December 2012 11:18 AM

We have children. We would prefer to have one parent available for our childrens' benefit. Children need their parents' attentiveness. It us not about equality economics (profit) or statistics, it is what is good for the child's wellbeing.

By Me | 11 December 2012 12:48 PM

I dont think,staying at home is really a "choice". Modern capitalist world doesnt give too many options to mothers. In this sense, comparing to many countries, Dutch system is relatively good by giving chance to work part time. However, for parttime workers, it is not easy(or even not possible) to grow in their profession. Probably with new regulations, day care expenses will be too much and many women will "prefer" staying at home.

By Sam | 11 December 2012 12:53 PM

These numbers seem to clash with this article from march linked at the bottom: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/03/some_60_of_dutch_women_now_wor.php , can anyone explain this discrepancy?

By Seth | 11 December 2012 1:34 PM

When women choose to be less engaged with working outdoors it's fine but the decision not for all women to make for themselves. Lots of women would like to work, or work more hours. When a woman is pregnant the colleagues ask if she is going to stay at home, or work less, after the baby is born. They never ask a father-to-be the same question. That’s not a free choice; it is ‘forced upon’ the women in the Netherlands. A mother should be at home or else she is a bad mother! It is culturally biased that a mother should stay at home to take care of her home, husband and kids.

By Yvonne | 11 December 2012 1:49 PM

"Gender equality" would mean that EITHER the man or woman could stay home with the kids.

There is also a bit of a stigma towards mothers working full-time. One expat mum told me that they snubbed her at her kid's creche because she wasn't working only part-time...and therefore wasn't a "good" mother...

By CW | 11 December 2012 2:53 PM

well said Hendrick - women have the choice to be full time mums (which does not, as mentioned above mean spa visits and tennis lessons) - it is hard work!

By Mazza B | 11 December 2012 2:57 PM

In not about misogynistic, we need to realize the culture of dutch people is the women should stay home, "baking cookies, tending the kids and playing tennis" waking the pets.....
Most of the women are agree with this stile of life, some of them afther become pregnant are not return to work.....
This is dutch culture, many of them live on welfare for life, a kind of ticks. Do not want to work rather than not find their work. Slacker...

By Pascal | 11 December 2012 3:29 PM

This is a bad thing? Children need their mother. That figure should be much higher.

By Roy Walker | 11 December 2012 3:29 PM

Such envy towards stayhome mothers here! Spa? Baking 'cookies'? I see no mention of reality: changing nappies, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, ironing shirts, and picking the kids up/returning them at lunchtimes (staying at school during the lunchhour requires 'care' payments, nor do schools offer canteens like they do in other countries.) Oh yes, then there's the fact that primary schools close 1 or 2 afternoons per week.

Most 'real' mothers just squeeze in time to shower, never mind 'spa'.

I feel no guilt over having stayed home to care for (note those words) our children and raise them according to our family values, nor 'working outside the home' and passing care to my (freelancer) husband when he worked from home.

By osita | 11 December 2012 6:19 PM

Maybe the gov can create more work from home jobs and flex hours jobs if they want to help the ladies to work more and get back to work.

By ufo | 12 December 2012 9:21 AM

With this attitude towards women, no wonder I get so many funny looks when I tell people "Ik ben een huisman."

By Darren | 12 December 2012 10:14 AM

Well said Hendrik. Of course it is about choice.
Choosing not to be in paid employment is often about saving the family on the cost of childcare, housekeeping, accounting, decorating, gardening, window cleaning, having the time to source second hand books, clothes toys etc. Add all this up! Overall the quality of family life also increases. The house isn't just an empty shell but a home.

By Eiriam | 12 December 2012 10:31 AM

@Hendrik: The problem comes though when the system doesn't allow women to have a choice between being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Or assuming that the woman has to be the one to stay home. That's still a huge double standard.

By SC | 12 December 2012 12:23 PM

Here is a summary of the publication this is referring to in English: www.scp.nl/english/Publications/Summaries_by_year/Summaries_2012/Emancipation_Monitor_2012

The publication does not try to draw conclusions, and gives information about both mothers and non-mothers.

I still find it surprising that so many non-mothers and mothers without small children work so few hours. Possibly NL would be in a better financial situation if some of these women contributed more to taxes and the economy.

By Quest | 12 December 2012 2:40 PM

There is no gender equality at all when most Dutch men HAVE to work full-time and way too many Dutch women can have fun part-time jobs (75% of them).

It's funny how gender equality doesn't seem to apply to men.

By Natasha Cloutier | 12 December 2012 3:05 PM

The comments here don't recognise the fact that many women who work part time (or not at all) in the Netherlands are child free. This is different to a "stay at home mum". Also dutch society -opening hours for shops and services, punishes those who both (or are single) work full time.

By annoyed | 12 December 2012 4:33 PM

I as a single no child woman working just part time. I can tell you that it is not always a choice to not work. I want to work fulltime but it is almost impossible as they prefer young cheap and less productive imported employees. I struggle to pay the bills. It is also for most couples. A mans income alone is typically not enough to get around either. For sure not when having children.

By Marieke | 13 December 2012 2:56 AM

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