Gender gap between men and women in the Netherlands closing - but there’s more work to be done

Gender gap between men and women in the Netherlands closing - but there’s more work to be done

According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report, the Netherlands has worked successfully to promote gender equality, with the country rising from 31st place in 2021 to 28th in 2022.  

WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022

Published annually since 2006 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Global Gender Gap Report analyses the inequality between the sexes by examining 14 indicators spread across four different categories: 

  • Economic Participation and Opportunity (e.g. percentage of the workforce that is female and salaries)
  • Education Attainment (e.g. enrolment in primary and secondary education, enrolment in higher education)
  • Health and Survival (e.g. healthy life expectancy)
  • Political Empowerment (e.g. number of women in government and parliament)

Each of the 146 countries included in the study receives a score between zero and one across all 14 indicators, where zero represents imparity and one represents the "optimal situation" or parity. These scores are then combined in order to determine an overall score for each country.

Yet again, this year sees Iceland reclaim its first-place position, with an extremely high score of 0,908. In second place is Finland (0,860), followed by Norway (0,845) and New Zealand (0,841), with Sweden (0,822) rounding out the top five.

Overall, the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 concludes that “gender parity is not recovering,” calculating that it will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. While this does mark a slight improvement compared to the 2021 estimate of 136 years, the WEF notes that “it does not compensate for the generational loss which occurred between 2020 and 2021: according to trends leading up to 2020, the gender gap was set to close within 100 years.”

The Netherlands rises in gender equality ranking

The Netherlands has fairly consistently managed to cling on to a spot in the top 40 of the WEF’s rankings, but 2019 saw the country fall a dramatic 11 places, from 27th place to 38th. The past few years, however, have seen the Netherlands crawl back up to assume a more respectable position, with the 2022 ranking seeing the country once again claim a spot in the top 30, coming in 28th place with an overall score of 0,767.

While the country performed exceptionally well in the Education Attainment category, achieving a perfect score of one, other indicators mean the Netherlands continues to fall outside of the European top 10. In the Economic Participation and Opportunity category, for example, the Netherlands came in 79th place as a result of a relatively low number of female legislators, senior officials and managers and a poor score in the estimated earned income category.

The fact that the Netherlands has been able to rise a considerable number of positions in the overall ranking is largely due to the fact that an increasing number of women now occupy positions in the Dutch government and parliament. Approximately 47 percent of all ministerial positions, and 41 percent of all seats in parliament are currently held by women. However, the country’s overall performance in this category remains relatively poor as the Netherlands is yet to have a female Prime Minister.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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