Part-time and Partly Equal: Gender and Work in the Netherlands
The Netherlands performs well on many measures of gender equality, but the country
faces a persistent equality challenge between women and men: the high share of women
in part-time jobs. Nearly 60% of women in the Dutch labour market work part-time,
roughly three times the OECD average for women, and over three times the rate for
Dutch men. The Netherlands’ gender gap in hours worked contributes to the gender gap
in earnings, the gender gap in pensions, women’s slower progression into management
roles, and the unequal division of unpaid work at home. These gaps typically widen
with parenthood, as mothers often reduce hours in the labour market to take on more
unpaid care work at home.
The Dutch government must redouble its efforts to achieve gender equality. Better
social policy support can help level the playing field between men and women, contribute
to more egalitarian norms around the division of work, and foster more gender-equal
behaviour in paid and unpaid work in the Netherlands.