Emancipation of women is improving, but the position is not yet equal to that of men


NOS Newsyesterday, 09:00Amended yesterday, 13:23

The emancipation of women in the Netherlands is improving. Two out of three women are now economically independent, which means they have their own income at a minimum social assistance level. This is evident from the biennial emancipation monitor of the Central Bureau of Statistics.

“Women are making progress on almost all fronts,” says CBS chief sociologist Tanja Traag. “From labor participation to the number of hours they work and economic independence.” More and more women are also highly educated. But it is a slow wave motion.

According to the CBS, there is still a gap compared to men. Many women want to work more if it is financially necessary. As long as the joint income is sufficient, they think that is enough. But when couples get divorced, many women are no longer “financially carefree” and therefore vulnerable, according to the CBS.

Children tipping point

Three-quarters of women who are not in education and under the age of 65 consider it important to be able to support themselves financially. But in practice, according to Statistics Netherlands, this is less: 66 percent were economically independent in 2021. Men are more often economically independent (81 percent) and also attach more importance to this (87 percent).

According to Statistics Netherlands, Dutch men are relatively more emancipated than men in other European countries. They do relatively much of the household work and they also pay relatively much attention to the care of their children.

Still a long way to go

But according to Atria, the knowledge institute for emancipation and women’s history, men should be even more motivated to take on household chores and care tasks, because then women could be encouraged to work longer hours. More than 19 percent of men are willing to work less, according to research.

The knowledge center also says that there is still no equality between men and women. “When it comes to work and income, division of work and care and violence against women, we still have a long way to go, also in the Netherlands,” says Atria in response to the CBS study.

“Compared to nine years ago, we see slight progress on a number of fronts. But if we compare it with figures from 2019, we see stagnation or even decline much more often. For example, women are more likely to work fewer hours after the birth of their first child. work and that women with a full-time job more often experience an imbalance between work and private life. And the representation of women in the business community lags behind.”

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