Part-time work for women remains popular

Despite a number of initiatives to encourage more Dutch women to work full time, families with young children have become stuck on the ‘one-and-a-half job’ model, says the government’s social planning unit SCP in its new Emancipation Monitor.

A situation in which the man works full-time and the woman less ‘is only popular in the Netherlands,’ the SCP says. ‘In most other EU countries, a majority of the population think both parents should work full time.’
After making big strides forward in getting women into the labour market in the 1980s and 1990s, growth has now stagnated, the SCP says.
In 2003, 54% of women had a job of at least 12 hours a week. Last year, the figure had risen marginally to 54.1%, the SCP says. The social affairs ministry has set a target of 65% for 2010.
Not only are women more likely to work part-time in the Netherlands, they are also working slightly fewer hours than they did in 2003.
And children are not the only reason. In only 38% of childless couples do both partners work full time. Young people are also becoming more traditional, the SCP says. More men and women aged 20 to 29 agree that women should be the main person to look after the kids.
Main Emancipation Report conclusions:
• 54% of women aged 15 to 64 had a job of at least 12 hours a week in 2005. In 2000, the figure was 52%. The target is for 65% by 2010.
• Almost 42% of women aged 15 to 64 were financially independent in 2005. In 2000 the figure was 39%. The target is for 60% by 2010.
• The number of women with a part-time job of between 12 and 34 hours a week has risen to 68% in 2005 from 62% in 2000.
• In 1995, men were responsible for 35% of the time spent on household tasks and childcare. This has risen by 1% over 10 years. The target is for 40% by 2010.
• In 2004, 25% of pre-schoolers were cared for in a créche or by a babysitter. In 2000 the figure was 20%.
• Almost 50% of working women with children at primary school say they would work more if they could combine working hours better with family life.

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