The Netherlands falls in gender equality ranking

The Netherlands falls in gender equality ranking

The Netherlands is failing to promote gender equality according to the Gender Gap Index, published by the World Economic Forum. The country has fallen to 38th position in the rankings, 11 places lower than last year.

Gender inequality gap widens in the Netherlands

Every year, researchers from the WEF analyse the inequality between men and women by examining 14 different factors including education, economy and politics. This year, 153 countries were examined. However, of the 153 countries examined, only 101 of them have successfully taken steps to reduce the gender inequality gap.

The other 52 countries on the list either saw the gender inequality gap widen or remain the same. In the Netherlands, the gap widened slightly, with equality decreasing from 74,7 percent in 2018 to 73,6 percent. This was enough for the Netherlands to drop 11 spots to 38th place in the rankings. In its first iteration, back in 2006, the Netherlands was ranked 12th in the world.

Why has the Netherlands dropped down in the rankings?

The main reason why the Netherlands has dropped down the gender equality rankings is due to the underrepresentation of women in the Dutch government. The WEF noted that women in the Netherlands occupied only 31,3 percent of seats in the Lower House and 35,3 percent of ministerial posts. The Netherlands has also never had a female prime minister.

Another contributing factor to the widening inequality gap in the Netherlands is the limited number of women in higher occupational positions. Only 25,7 percent of women occupy managerial posts compared to 74,3 percent of men. Furthermore, women only make up 30 percent of board members in listed companies.

Just over 75 percent of women work part-time compared to 40 percent of men. Women also spend a lot more time on care duties and unpaid work than men do, with women spending 15,14 percent per day on unpaid work and men only spending 8,06 percent.

Gender equality worldwide

In terms of worldwide gender equality, it is the Nordic countries that take the lead. Iceland tops the ranking for the eleventh consecutive year; there, the gender equality gap is 88 percent closed. Norway, Finland and Sweden make up the rest of the top four respectively. This is largely explained by the number of women in politics as well as good childcare and labour force participation. At the other end of the spectrum, Yemen is at the bottom of the rankings.

Although the majority of countries have successfully taken positive steps to reduce the gender inequality gap, WEF reports that it will take another 99,5 years until there is worldwide equality. It will take 54 years for this to happen in Western Europe.

For more information, please see the Global Gender Gap Report.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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