Vrouwen op de arbeidsmarkt: een succesvolle worsteling | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 26, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Labour force participation of women: a successful struggle

Labour force participation of women: a successful struggle

This article describes developments in the labour force participation of women in the Netherlands. The proportion of working women has increased significantly over the last decades, although marital status and level of schooling remain relevant factors in predicting participation. Sex segregation at the labour market is still substantial. The pattern of women working part-time is strongly embedded in Dutch culture and in its institutional settings. This at least partly explains why the number of women in positions at the top is still low. Other relevant explanations in this respect are processes of stereotyping and framing. Opportunities for combining work and care are rather modest in Dutch society, which implies and explains the relative traditional division of tasks between women and men. In its turn, this leads to the phenomenon of only half of the women being economically independent. A system of allowances for low-paid breadwinners discourages the labour force participation of lower-skilled women. Reconsidering this issue in social policy seems adequate. Furthermore, an extension of work/care provisions is needed in order to finalise the process of emancipation of Dutch women.


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