Dutch women among the most emancipated in Europe

02/07/2009 15:00

Inequality between men and women in the Netherlands is relatively small compared to the other countries of the EU 27. The Netherlands has a relatively high score on the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). It comes fourth behind Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The new member states come in last.

The gender empowerment measure

The GEM signals inequality between women and men in work, income and politics. A high GEM value shows a great deal of equality in the economic and political opportunities women and men have.

The value of the gender empowerment measure in the EU 27 (excl. Luxembourg)

The value of the gender empowerment measure in the EU 27 (excl. Luxembourg)

Low score for women in management

The percentage of women in high-level technical and scientific professions in the Netherlands is the same as that of men. In the Baltic States and the Eastern Europe the share of women is higher and there is more inequality as a result.

Dutch women are less well represented at the higher management levels. With a 26 percent share, the Netherlands is at the bottom of the pile in the European ranking. Cyprus, Malta and Denmark score even lower at this point. The highest percentages of female managers are found in the Baltic States, Germany and France.

Middle in income inequality

In terms of income inequality between women and men the Netherlands takes up a middle position. On average the income of women is 64 percent of that of men. This is mainly because many Dutch women work in part-time jobs.

In all EU countries women’s income is substantially lower than that of men. The income difference varies from 19 percent in Sweden to 54 percent in Austria.

Relatively high number of female parliamentarians

The percentage of female parliamentarians in the Netherlands is relatively high in comparison with the other EU countries. Women have 36 percent of the seats in the First and Second Chambers. The only countries that outperform the Netherlands in this respect are Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Share of women in the national parliament in the EU 27 (excl. Bulgaria), 2007

Share of women in the national parliament in the EU 27 (excl. Bulgaria), 2007

Brigitte Hermans