Gender gap in the Netherlands slightly wider

Gender gap in the Netherlands slightly wider

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 ranked the Netherlands 13th out of 136 countries, down from 11th in 2012.

The Netherlands scored 0,761 for equality, where 0,00 is inequality and 1,00 is equality.

Iceland has the narrowest gender gap in the world, scoring 0,873, followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Gender gap around the world

The annual report ranks 136 countries (more than 93 per cent of the world’s population) on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations.

Countries are assessed on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.

Of the 133 countries that were measured in both 2012 and 2013, 86 have improved their gender gap. The top four countries have now closed of 80 per cent of their gender gap.

Globally, 96 per cent of the health and survival gender gap is now closed, although it is the only pillar that has widened since the first report in 2006.

In education, on the other hand, 25 countries have closed their gaps completely and the global gender gap now stands at 93 per cent.

The gender gaps for economic equality and political participation are much wider: 60 per cent and 21 per cent closed respectively. Progress is being made in these areas, however, with political participation narrowing by almost 2 per cent over the last year.

Europe’s progress towards eliminating its gender gap is very uneven across the continent. For example, Belgium ranks 11th and Germany ranks 14th, just after the Netherlands, while France ranks 45th, Spain 30th and Italy 71st.

Gender gap in the Netherlands

According to the report, the Netherlands has achieved equality in educational attainment, scoring 99,5 in this area, with women either fully equal or more than half (in the case of enrolment in tertiary education).

It also has equal levels for health and survival, with women’s life expectancy slightly higher than men’s: 74 years to 72.

In economic participation and opportunity, there is full equality with professional and technical workers, while both labour force participation and estimated earned income are high (both 87 per cent).

Wage equality is much lower, however, at 0,69, while legislators, senior officials and managers has a very low score at 0,40 (and is only ranked at 64 in the world).

Political empowerment is the lowest scoring area, with 0,63 for women in parliament and an even lower 0,50 for women in ministerial.

While this is not the lowest the Netherlands has been ranked in this index (17th in 2010), it is also not the highest (9th in 2008). While the figures for previous years show the general trend is one of improvement, the area where the Netherlands shows a reversal from previous higher levels is in political empowerment.

Top 15 countries for gender equality

1 Iceland 0,873
2 Finland 0,842
3 Norway 0,842
4 Sweden 0,813
5 Philippines 0,783
6 Ireland 0,782
7 New Zealand 0,780
8 Denmark 0,778
9 Switzerland 0,774
10 Nicaragua 0,771
11 Belgium 0,768
12 Latvia 0,761
13 Netherlands 0,761
14 Germany 0,758
15 Cuba 0,754


For more information, read the full report.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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